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US$ 200 million to 5 NE State capitals
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUN 28:
Published on 29 Jun. 2009 12:20 AM IST
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has come forward to support five state capital cities of North Eastern states, including Sikkim to improve infrastructure and sanitation, a ADB official said here, today. The bank will provide a multi-tranche loan up to US$ 200 million for the North Eastern Region Capital Cities Development Investment Programme in the state capitals of Shillong (Meghalaya), Aizawl (Mizoram), Kohima (Nagaland), Gangtok (Sikkim) and Agartala (Tripura), benefiting an estimated 1.2 million people, the ADB official said. The loan facility from ADB’s ordinary capital resources will be made available in three or more tranches over the duration of the program implementation period from 2009 until 2015. The loans will be priced in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facilities. The Union and state governments will provide an additional US$ 85.7 million for a total estimated program cost of US$ 285.7 million. He said the programme represents one of the largest externally-funded infrastructure investments ever seen in the region. According to the ADB, India’s north eastern states has suffered from a dearth of investment because of its remote, mountainous location, long distance from markets, high levels of poverty and unemployment, and limited private sector interest. He said the programme will not only bring improved urban services to the homes of the residents in the five state capitals, but would ensure sustainable investment in infrastructure development in prioritized areas, which is a cornerstone of ADB’s strategies and its long term Strategy 2020 to reduce poverty in the Asia-Pacific region. The funds will be used for a variety of subprojects that improve water supply, sanitation and solid waste management in the cities, with a special emphasis on those that benefit the urban poor. There will also be support for reforms, and staff skills development to raise the efficiency of municipal services and to increase citizen participation in decision-making over municipal matters, the official said.

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