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India, ADB sign $125 million loan to improve water supply and sanitation in Uttarakhand

New Delhi: The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $125 million loan to improve access to safe and affordable drinking water supply and citywide inclusive sanitation services in Dehradun and Nainital cities in the state of Uttarakhand.

Mr. Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, signed for the Government of India the agreement for the Uttarakhand Integrated and Resilient Urban Development Project while Mr Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, signed for ADB.

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After signing the loan agreement, Mr. Mishra said that the project addresses the need for upgrading urban services in the fast-expanding capital city of Dehradun and Nainital which attracts thousands of tourists daily. Mr. Mishra said that the improved water and sanitation services will also promote better hygiene practices that will help protect people from future pandemic and epidemic diseases.

“The project complements previous ADB support to improve water supply and sanitation service (WSS) in the two cities with a focus on ensuring high-quality service delivery and a citywide sanitation approach to make it cost-effective,” said Mr. Konishi. “Computerized maintenance and management systems will be introduced to advance the system operation and asset management while ensuring users’ satisfaction”, added Mr Konishi.

Many innovative solutions like soak pit reuse and utilization for groundwater recharging, bus mobile toilets with gender-sensitive and inclusive design features, rainwater harvesting, and compact design and pre-fabricated sewerage treatment facilities will enhance climate resilience of the project.

The project will construct 136 kilometers (km) of water pipe system to replace defective water networks in South Dehradun to ensure reliable and continuous water supply to benefit an estimated 40,000 people, including 4,000 urban poor and vulnerable groups. Water meters will also be installed in about 5,400 households to support efficient water use and consumption billing.

In addition, the project will establish sewage treatment plants in Dehradun, supported by 256 km of enclosed underground sewer networks and 117 km of storm water drainage networks benefiting an estimated 138,000 residents, including 15,000 urban poor and vulnerable people. A total of 17,410 households in Dehradun will be connected to this sewerage system. Replacing the aging sewage treatment plant with a new one using advanced technology, and trunk sewer rehabilitation in Nainital, the project will ensure resilient and reliable sanitation services to the entire population of about 154,000 people.

ADB will provide a $250,000 technical assistance (TA) grant from its Technical Assistance Special Fund and another $750,000 grant from its Climate Change Fund to further strengthen climate-resilient urban planning and development of the state by carrying out a thorough assessment, supporting science-based decision making, developing smart climate resilient urban planning tools, and capacity-building activities.

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