India, and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed two loan agreements worth Rs $412 million for improving rural economy and connectivity in Maharashtra and development of water supply infrastructure in Jharkhand.
Of the total loan amount, $300 million has been earmarked as additional financing to scale up the improvement of rural connectivity to help boost rural economy in the state of Maharashtra, according to an ADB note issued by its Senior External Relations Officer Rajesh Kumar Deol here.
The additional financing is aimed at improving an additional 1,100 rural roads and 230 bridges for a total length of 2,900 km in 34 districts. The ongoing project with $200 million financing, approved in August 2019, is already enhancing and maintaining the condition and safety of 2,100 km of rural roads across Maharashtra, the ADB note pointed out.
Additional Secretary in the Finance ministry’s Department of Economic Affairs Rajat Kumar Mishra and ADB’s Country Director for India Takeo Konishi signed the loan agreements.
“With the additional financing, the overall project will improve the condition and safety of 5,000 km of rural roads and over 200 bridges connecting rural communities with productive agricultural areas and socioeconomic centers in Maharashtra,” Mishra said after the signing of the agreement.
ADB’s Country Director for India Takeo Konishi said, “Improved connectivity through climate-resilient, all-weather rural roads will help accelerate Maharashtra’s economic recovery from COVID-19 shock by generating rural employment and transforming agriculture.”
About the remaining $112 million loan for the development of Water supply infrastructure in Jharkhand Rajat Kumar Mishra said it would be spent on improving urban services in the State besides ensuring “continuous, treated piped water supply in the state capital of Ranchi and other three towns of Hussainabad, Jhumri Telaiya, and Medininagar located in economically and socially backward areas.”
“The project will be ADB’s first urban project in the state and help establish a model for continuous water supply combined with policy reforms for sustainable operation, which can be replicated by other low-income states for providing safe drinking water to urban households as envisaged under national Jal Jeevan Mission,” the ADB Country director said.
Four water treatment plants, with a combined capacity of 275 million liters per day, will be established in the project towns to provide safe drinking water, meeting the national drinking water quality standards. The project will also establish 940 kilometers of water distribution network to provide continuous water supply to about 115,000 households, including those below the poverty line, scheduled caste and scheduled tribe members, and other vulnerable groups, the ADB note further added.