India, ADB sign loan deal on Aizawl, Agartala infrastructure (Lead, Correcting headline)

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New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) The government and the ADB on Thursday signed an $80-million loan agreement to continue improving infrastructure in Agartala and Aizawl, the capitals of the northeastern states of Tripura and Mizoram.

“The loan is the third tranche of a $200-million financing facility under the North Eastern Region Capital Cities Development Investment Programme and will be used for investments in water supply, solid waste management and sanitation in Agartala and Aizawl,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

“It will also support urban reforms, benefiting nearly a million people in the two cities,” it added.

Previous programme tranches have provided assistance to three other cities in the northeast — Shillong, Kohima, and Gangtok, the capital cities of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim, respectively.

Thursday’s agreement was signed on behalf of the Indian government by Raj Kumar, joint secretary for multilateral institutions in the department of economic affairs under the finance ministry.

Teresa Kho, country director in the Asian Development Bank’s India resident mission, signed on behalf of the ADB.

Separate sub-project agreements were also signed between central government officials and representatives of the governments of Tripura and Mizoram.

“The loan will support further investments to increase access to sustainable and improved urban services, with Aizawl and Agartala cities, selected for financing under the third tranche of the programme based on their progress on reforms and implementation performance under earlier tranches,” the ministry statement said.

The third tranche loan from the ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 20-year term and the urban development ministry is responsible for implementing the third tranche’s activities and overall programme, which are both due for completion by June 2019.

Manila-based ADB works to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members, including 48 from the region.

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