MANILA, PHILIPPINES (28 October 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $61 million loan to improve livability, harness technology, and promote new developments to accommodate the expanding population in the city of Agartala, India.

Agartala is the capital and largest city in the state of Tripura and one of the fastest-developing cities in India. Strategically located near the Bangladesh–Bhutan–India–Nepal economic corridor, the city has the potential to become an economic–commercial hub for northeast India. It is also Tripura’s gateway for tourism with its royal palaces and scenic views. However, the city suffers from poor infrastructure such as inadequate stormwater drainage, wastewater, and road networks. Livability has also deteriorated due to high population density and poor infrastructure, causing pressure on the delivery of urban services.

“ADB’s support is aligned with the Government of India’s national Smart Cities Mission program, which aims to drive economic growth through local area development,” said ADB Urban Development Specialist for South Asia Pedro Almeida. “The project will upgrade the city’s urban infrastructure and services and create a livable city that will facilitate economic resilience and improve the quality of life of its residents.”

The Agartala City Urban Development Project will build and upgrade 48 kilometers (km) of new or existing stormwater drainage and construct 23 km of climate-resilient urban roads which will be integrated with existing intelligent smart city components, and incorporating design elements responsive to the needs of the elderly, women, children and differently abled. The project will revitalize the city by renovating open spaces and creating water recreation and lakeside walkways in the Maharaja Bir Bikram College lake and the Ujjayanta Palace.    

The project has a built-in component to increase the capacity of the Agartala Municipal Corporation, and other relevant agencies, on project management and operation and maintenance of urban infrastructure, own-source revenue generation, and climate- and disaster-resilient urban planning, gender analysis and mainstreaming, and gender-responsive budgeting. The Ujjayanta Palace staff will be trained on improving tourism operations, and capacity building on livelihood improvement will be provided to shopkeepers, street vendors, and artisans.

In addition, ADB will provide a $1 million technical assistance (TA) grant from its Technical Assistance Special Fund to support the project’s capacity building and awareness-raising activities. The TA will also help the Government of Tripura establish the foundation for future institutional reforms and development for improved public service delivery.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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