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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

ADB’s Rs. 3,600-crore loan to improve water and sanitation in Kolkata

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 27, 2013
First Published: 11:02 IST(27/9/2013) | Last Updated: 15:41 IST(27/9/2013)

Multilateral funding agency ADB will provide a Rs. 3,600-crore loan to improve the water and sanitation system in peripheral areas in Kolkata.

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The loan will help the city improve water and sanitation system in peripheral areas of the fast-growing metropolis which are missing out on quality services, Asian Development Bank officials said.

“Kolkata is India’s seventh largest city with a rapidly expanding economy, but it is struggling to provide decent basic services to all its residents, especially those in the booming outer areas,” said Fei Yue, director of the South Asia Urban Development and Water Division at ADB.

Inadequate investment and poor management mean water and sewerage systems fail to serve all the city’s residents and are not sustainable to those they do reach, it said.

An estimated 300 million litres of water is lost every day along the 5,700 kilometre network, undermining income for water suppliers. At the same time, much of the operating machinery, some of which are up to 90 years old, uses far more electricity than the modern equipment.

“If we don’t improve the systems now, the disparities between the central and peripheral areas will get worse,” Yue said.

ADB said the funds would be provided in three batches through a multi-tranche financing facility.

The first tranche will help restore the original production capacity of two existing water treatment plants, cutting water losses and gradually rolling out 24-hour water supply in target areas.

ADB said new sewer pipes, pump stations and 2,300 new sewerage connections will be installed in the southern peripheral part of the city.

“The loan will also help the Kolkata Municipal Corporation put together a long-term cost recovery and subsidy plan that will ensure high-quality water and sanitation services are maintained.” The funding agency said that subsequent tranches will continue installing sewage and direct water pipes in the eastern and western outlying areas of the city and build three sewage treatment plants using technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

ADB’s loans, it said, will help the Kolkata Municipal Corporation implement its water and sewerage plan. They build on two previous ADB loans in 2000 and 2006 to renovate the city’s sewer-drain network.

“Asian Development Bank had sanctioned a loan amounting Rs. 3,600 crore for Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP) phase II. Our priority will be to improvise water supply and sanitation facilities in the added areas of the city - Behala, Jadavpur and Garden Reach. We are already under the process of engaging consultant for the phase II job,” Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee told reporters at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation headquarters on Thursday.


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