NEW DELHI, September 11: Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed two agreements for $500 million loans with the government for the management of urban services in the state of Rajasthan.
"ADB and the Government of India today signed two loans worth $500 million to help the Government of Rajasthan better manage essential urban services and finance water supply and wastewater upgrades," ADB said in a release.
The signing of Rajasthan Urban Sector Development programme marks the first occasion for ADB to couple a policy loan to support urban sector reforms with a project loan to improve urban services over the long term, it said.
"Rajasthan is urbanising rapidly. The programme aims to strengthen urban institutions in Rajasthan to improve their governance, and better manage urban services.
"It also aims at boosting the water supply in five cities from 2 hours per day to 24-hour supply, and increasing collection and treatment of sewage and septage waste," said M Teresa Kho, Country Director for ADB in India.
ADB said $250 million policy loan will be used to help Rajasthan to finance creation of a corporate-style state body to promote urban services development and an independent utility in Jaipur to oversee water and wastewater operations in the state capital.
Rest of $250 million project loan will support water system improvements in five cities - Hanumangarh, Jhunjhunu, Pali, Sri Ganganagar, and Tonk - which currently have low piped water coverage and high water losses.
These upgrades will include nearly 200,000 new house connections with proper metering to cut water losses, ADB said