The Centre signed a and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday signed a $200 million loan as additional financing for the ongoing Rajasthan Secondary Towns Development Sector Project. Under the project water supply and sanitation systems are being expanded, the ministry of finance said. The purpose is also to enhance urban resilience and heritage living in selected towns, it said.
The signatories to the loan agreement were Vumlunmang Vualnam, additional secretary, department of economic affairs, ministry of finance, for the Indian government, and Takeo Konishi, country director of ADB’s India Resident Mission for ADB.
Vualnam said the additional financing would support the Rajasthan government in its commitment to reduce basic infrastructure gaps in its secondary towns by expanding water supply and sanitation services and improving livability in selected urban local bodies.
“The project will incorporate various innovative and climate-resilient solutions for expanding basic urban services and incorporate nature-based solutions to rehabilitate heritage structures besides piloting public-private partnerships in the state’s water and sanitation sector to deepen private sector engagement,” said Konishi.
The ongoing project, approved in September 2020, has so far laid 1,451km of water supply pipes, 1,110km of sewer pipes, and connected 68,098 households to water services in selected secondary towns in Rajasthan.
The additional financing will improve water supply systems in at least seven towns by converting all groundwater sources to surface water, replacing about 700 km of leaking water pipes, installing 1,400 km of new water supply pipelines, and providing 77,000 households connections with water meters. It will also establish three new water treatment plants.
At least eight towns will be covered for improvement to sanitation systems by rehabilitating at least 580 km of sewers, building seven sewage treatment plants with co-treatment units to process fecal sludge and septage, and connecting at least 54,000 households to the sewage system.
Also, at least 20 heritage or heritage-like structures to improve the living environment and attract more tourists will be rehabilitated, it added.