On Thursday, the Asian Development Bank announced the approval of a Rs 2,644.85 crore (USD 350 million) loan for India to help improve its urban services. According to an Asian Development Bank press release, the loan supports policies created by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to speed universal coverage of piped water delivery and enhanced sanitation. According to the statement, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has authorized a USD 350 million policy-based loan to improve urban services in India.
This is part of the recently launched national programme Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0 and to provide affordable housing to all, including poor, urban migrant and industrial workers, under the flagship mission Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, ADB said. The programme will benefit the urban poor, including other disadvantaged, economically weaker sections and low-income groups.
"This loan supports the government's agenda in transforming cities into economically vibrant and sustainable communities, continuing ADB's long-term engagement with India to improve basic urban services delivery in various states," ADB Principal Urban Development Specialist for South Asia Sanjay Joshi stated.
Efforts to improve urban water supply, sanitation and affordable housing, and performance-based fiscal transfer will help the country accelerate reforms in urban service delivery and COVID-19 recovery initiatives, he added.
ADB said India's current estimated urban population of 460 million (46 crore) is the second-largest in the world and is projected to reach nearly 600 million (60 crore) by 2030, growing at an annual rate of over 2 percent.
As urban areas will continue to contribute over 60 per cent of gross domestic product, cities will become a strong engine of growth for India -- generating economic activity and outputs, creating jobs for a significant volume of workers, improving competitiveness and urban livability, and protecting the environment.
ADB will provide knowledge and advisory support to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in programme implementation, including monitoring and evaluation.
It will also help select low-income states and urban local bodies to implement policy reforms, prepare investment plans and provide recommendations on cross-cutting issues like climate change, environmental and social safeguards assessment, and gender equality and social inclusion.