The Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $61 million loan to improve livability, harness technology, and promote new developments to accommodate the expanding population in Agartala city while building capacity of state agencies for improved service delivery.
Shri Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in India’s Ministry of Finance, signed for the Government of India, the agreement for Agartala City Urban Development Project while Mr Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission signed for ADB.
After signing the loan agreement, Shri Mishra stated that the project is aligned to the vision of the Government of India’s Smart City Mission to upgrade urban infrastructure services and will improve livability in Agartala with provision of better road connectivity, flood resilient measures and making tourist places more attractive.
”Through this project, ADB will catalyze synergies with the smart city components being implemented in Agartala through an underground utility corridor with shifting of electrical lines, incorporating elderly, women, children, and differently abled responsive features, improving road geometry along with urban design interventions,” said Mr. Konishi.” He said that the provision of an asset management and sustainability strategy, capacity-building of tourism operators and livelihood improvement of street vendors and artisans, will serve as a model to other assets and tourist attractions in Agartala, and other cities in the state of Tripura.
The Project will build and upgrade 48 kilometers (km) of new or existing storm water drainage and construct 23 km of climate-resilient urban roads. Other interventions would include renovating open spaces and creating water recreation and lakeside walkways in the Maharaja Bir Bikram College lake and the Ujjayanta Palace which are major tourist attractions in the city.
Developing Agartala’s central and north zones as models of area-based development following the principles of smart city mission initiative is expected to have a ripple effect on other parts of the city and nearby cities and towns by making urban areas more livable, citizen-friendly, resilient, and sustainable.