Bhutan is to get a 24.6 million-dollar soft loan from the Asian Development Bank to shore up tap water and other urban facilities at three key cities which are besieged by rural migrants, the Philippines-based lender said on Thursday.
Urban settlement, a new phenomenon in the landlocked mountain nation, is putting pressure on Thimphu and Phuentsholing, Bhutan's two largest cities, as well as Dagana, a regional center, an ADB statement said.
Facilities have failed to keep up with the demand from the urban sprawl over the past 20 years, with rising unemployment and water shortages.
The loan will help Thimphu develop a new water supply system, upgrade a wastewater treatment plant, and improve solid waste management infrastructure.
Local urban infrastructure, such as secondary roads, tertiary water distribution pipes, drainage, and sewerage, will also be provided.
In Phuentsholing, roads and drainage, footpaths and a pedestrian bridge, and social infrastructure such as fire hydrants and street lighting will be provided.
Dagana's water supply sources will be augmented, and the treatment and distribution system as well as sanitation will be improved. Roads and drainage will also be upgraded.
The loan is payable over 32 years at minimal interest rates. The government will finance the 6.15 million-dollar balance of the project cost.