ADB to Provide $400 million loans to improve water and sanitation systems in Kolkata.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $400 million in loans to help the Indian city of Kolkata expand and improve water and sanitation systems in peripheral areas of the fast-growing metropolis which are missing out on quality services. “Kolkata is India’s seventh largest city, with a rapidly expanding economy, but it is struggling to provide decent basic services to all its residents, especially those in the booming outer areas,” said Fei Yue, Director of the South Asia Urban Development and Water Division at ADB. “If we don’t improve the systems now, the disparities between the central and peripheral areas will get worse.”
Inadequate investment and poor management means water and sewerage systems fail to serve all the city’s residents and are not sustainable to those they do reach. An estimated 300 million liters of water are lost every day along the 5,700 kilometer network, undermining income for the water suppliers. At the same time, much of the operating machinery – some up to 90 years old – uses far more electricity than modern equipment.
The ADB funds will be provided in three batches through a multichannel financing facility. The first loan of $100 million will help restore the original production capacity of two existing water treatment plants, cutting water losses, and gradually rolling out 24-hour water supply in target areas. New sewer pipes, pump stations, and 2,300 new sewerage connections will be installed in the southern peripheral part of the city.