Govt signs $150m deal with ADB for developing Dhaka, Khulna city regions

DHAKA The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Bangladesh today signed an agreement for $150 million in loans to finance crucial infrastructures such as roads and drains and build capacity in two densely populated and fast-growing city regions of Dhaka and Khulna in Bangladesh.

Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed and Country Director of ADB Manmohan Parkash signed the agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB respectively at a ceremony at the ERD in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

The Second City Region Development Project builds on a similar such project which was completed in 2018.

ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash said the project will bolster growth, enhance living standards, and improve mobility, flood resilience, and solid waste management in Dhaka and Khulna city regions.

By improving institutional capacity and community awareness, the project will strengthen municipal governance, institutional coordination, and sustainable service delivery he added.

The ADB Country Director also said the project will also support preparation and implementation of comprehensive frameworks for integration of urban development with south-west economic corridor (SWEC) development, and thereby contribute to establishing the SWEC as a major economic corridor in South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation.

The project will support the rehabilitation of 300 kilometers (km) of urban roads in the Dhaka city region and 30 km of drains around Dhaka and 120 km around Khulna. It will also fund the preparation of an integrated solid waste management plan including the construction of a composting plant for Khulna.

To strengthen capacity, the project will help identify priority investments, prepare or update various plans, and provide training in pourashavas and city corporations in integrated urban planning, sustainable service delivery, and operation and maintenance of urban infrastructure.

To reduce startup delays for future projects, support for the preparation of detailed engineering designs for investments involving the latest technologies and smart applications will be provided. This will include integrated real-time data platforms and sensors, advanced building materials, and geotechnical engineering.

The project will also conduct community awareness campaigns covering at least 200,000 people, including at least 100,000 women on reducing, reusing, and recycling solid waste. A city region is an agglomeration of a large city with its surrounding pourashavas (secondary towns) and adjacent peri-urban areas in upazilas (sub-districts).

ADB's finance comes in the form of a regular loan of $75 million and a concessional loan for the same amount. The Government of Bangladesh will provide financing of $73 million toward the $223 million total cost of the project, which is due to be completed by the end of June 2024.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)