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ADB signs $125m loans to upgrade municipalities

ADB signs $125m loans to upgrade municipalities

Star Business Desk

The Asian Development Bank yesterday signed a deal with the government to roll out $125 million loans to improve services and governance in municipalities, making them more livable and attractive.

Mohammad Mejbahuddin, secretary of the Economic Relations Division, and Kazuhiko Higuchi, country director for ADB's Bangladesh Resident Mission, signed the deal in Dhaka.

“Bangladesh needs to develop livable district towns with well-managed quality infrastructure to reduce overcrowding in big cities,” said Higuchi.

“ADB is pleased to help achieve this goal of creating model towns with proper planning, improved governance and infrastructure and other services.”

The project will provide assistance to 30 municipalities with a total population of 2.2 million.

These administrative, trade and economic centres and transportation and distribution hubs are crucial for more balanced development in Bangladesh, the Manila-based lender said in a statement yesterday.

The project will upgrade roads, drainage and sanitation systems, piped water supplies and solid waste collection and disposal, according to the statement.

“It will also strengthen the ability of municipalities to carry out urban planning, financial management and service delivery.”

In addition to ADB's loan, Opec Fund for International Development will provide cofinancing of $40 million alongside government and municipality counterpart support of $71 million, for a total project cost of $236 million.

The project is expected to be completed in 2020. The Local Government Engineering Department and Department of Public Health Engineering will implement the project.

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