World Bank approves $147 million to improve urban services in Jharkhand

Washington, Dec 12(GCBusiness)The World Bank will lend 147 million US dollars towards financing a project in Jharkhand that focuses on improving the municipal sector’s capacity to provide basic urban services.

The Jharkhand Municipal Development Project will focus on improving the municipal sector’s capacity to provide basic urban services. It will invest in urban services such as water supply, sewerage, drainage, and urban roads; and strengthen the capacity of the Jharkhand Urban Infrastructure Development Company (JUIDCO) as well as that of the ULBs to carry out reforms in the areas of urban finance and governance.

This is in keeping with the needs of a rapidly urbanizing state where about 31 million people reside in urban areas and urban population growth in nine of 24 districts in Jharkhand is above India’s overall urbanization pace of 2.7 per cent.

Most of these components will be open to all 43 ULBs in the state who may wish to participate within an agreed framework under the project. Over 350,000 urban residents of the participating ULBs are expected to benefit, of which at least 45 per cent will be women.

Interventions such as piped water supply, storm water drains, climate friendly road construction and energy efficient street lighting will not only help improve urban services but also make it environmentally sustainable.

Work on two subprojects – Khunti water supply subproject and the Dhanbad roads subproject is expected to commence shortly. Through its other key components, the project will improve urban governance by assisting ULBs to improve their organizational capacity, manage finances in a sustainable manner, and focus on the development of its nodal implementing agency, JUIDCO.

“Jharkhand needs large-scale investments in urban infrastructure and services. Such investments will require a phased approach. This project will focus on closing the gap on access to basic services and at the same time build the capacity of its institutions to better manage and provide services effectively,” said Vasudha Thawakar and Abhijit Sankar Ray, Senior Urban Development Specialists and Task Team Leaders for the project.

The loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 7-year grace period, and a final maturity of 22.5 years.

Via UNI-India

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