India has signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a $63.3 million loan for improving urban services and strengthening municipal and project management capacity in several towns in North Karnataka. The agreement is for the 4th Project under the overall facility of $270 million for the North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Program.
The loan under the North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Program will help upgrade infrastructure, including expansion of the potable water systems to provide continuous water supply with private sector participation in 12 towns (Basavakalyan, Bellary, Bidar, Gadag-Betegeri, Gokak, Haveri, Hospet, Nipanni, Raichur, Shahabad, Sindhanur and Yadgir); completion of sewerage networks in 3 towns (Haveri, Hospet and Raichur) , and improvements to the road network in 2 towns (Badami and Ilkal).
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Tarun Bajaj, Joint Secretary, Dept. of Economic Affairs said that the project will help upgrade water supply network, expand sewerage infrastructure and improve roads in total of 14 towns of North Karnataka. He said that this will help the State improve quality of life in these deprived areas of Karnataka. He added that in order to maximize efficiency gains and ensure adequate operation and maintenance during initial years, water utility operators will be engaged through a performance based management contracts to design and construct sections of the distribution networks, provide metered connections and operate and maintain the facilities.
The program will support municipal governance program, leading to better municipal service through the use of geographic information systems for property tax mapping and utility mapping, as well as assist the Government of Karnataka to establish a heritage planning cell under the Town Planning Department, for conservation of heritage structures and sites in the State.
The complete investment program aims to improve basic urban services for at least 4.3 million people living in 25 North Karnataka towns by providing them with improved water supply, cleaner environmental conditions, safer and faster urban transportation, and other public facilities.