ADB approves $61 million loan (Rs 458 crores) for development of Agartala
Strategically located near the Bangladesh–Bhutan–India–Nepal economic corridor, Agartala has the potential to become an economic–commercial hub for northeast India, ADB officials said.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $61 million loan (approximately Rs 458 crore) to improve liveability, harness technology, and promote new developments to accommodate the expanding population in Agartala.
The Urban Development Department secretary Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao has confirmed to The Northeast Today (TNT) that the loan amount was approved by ADB.
“ADB’s support is aligned with the Government of India’s national Smart Cities Mission program, which aims to drive economic growth through local area development,” said ADB Urban Development Specialist for South Asia, Pedro Almeida.
Strategically located near the Bangladesh–Bhutan–India–Nepal economic corridor, Agartala has the potential to become an economic–commercial hub for Northeast India, ADB officials said.
However, the city suffers from poor infrastructures such as inadequate stormwater drainage, wastewater, and road networks. Liveability has also deteriorated due to high population density and poor infrastructure, causing pressure on the delivery of urban services they added.
“The project will upgrade the city’s urban infrastructure and services and create a liveable city that will facilitate economic resilience and improve the quality of life of its residents,” Almeida added.
The Agartala City Urban Development Project will build and upgrade 48km of new or existing stormwater drainage and construct 23km of climate-resilient urban roads which will be integrated with existing intelligent smart city components incorporating design elements responsive to the needs of the elderly, women, children and differently-abled.
The project will revitalise the city by renovating open spaces and creating water recreation and lakeside walkways in the Maharaja Bir Bikram College lake and the Ujjayanta Palace.
The project has a built-in component to increase the capacity of the Agartala Municipal Corporation, and other relevant agencies, on project management, operation and maintenance of urban infrastructure, own-source revenue generation, and climate and disaster-resilient urban planning, gender analysis and mainstreaming, and gender-responsive budgeting. The Ujjayanta Palace staff will be trained on improving tourism operations, and capacity building on livelihood improvement will be provided to shopkeepers, street vendors, and artisans.
In addition, ADB will provide a $1 million technical assistance (TA) grant from its Technical Assistance Special Fund to support the project’s capacity building and awareness-raising activities. The TA will also help the Government of Tripura establish the foundation for future institutional reforms and development for improved public service delivery.
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