In a move to develop Agartala as a liveable, sustainable and climate-resilient city, the Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $61 million loan pact. The move aims to improve livability, harness technology, and promote new developments to accommodate the expanding population in the city while building the capacity of state agencies for improved service delivery.
On the Centre’s behalf, Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Union Ministry of Finance signed the pact. While Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, inked the pact on ADB’s behalf.
Addressing the occasion, 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 the provision of better road connectivity, flood resilient measures and making tourist places more attractive.
Takeo Konshi was of the view that the project will allow ADB to catalyze synergies with the smart city components being implemented in Agartala through an underground utility corridor with the shifting of electrical lines, incorporating elderly, women, children, and differently-abled responsive features improving road geometry along with urban design interventions.
The provision of asset management and sustainability strategy, capacity-building of tourism operators and livelihood improvement of street vendors and artisans, will pose an example for other cities and tourist attractions in Tripura.
The development project includes building and up-gradation of 48 km of new or existing stormwater drainage and construction of 23 km of climate-resilient urban roads. Apart from this, open spaces will be renovated and lakeside walkways and water recreation will be developed at Maharaja Bir Bikram College lake and the Ujjayanta Palace which are major tourist attractions of the city.
Under the area-based development model, Agartala’s central and north zones will be considered. With this, the smart city mission initiative is expected to have a ripple effect on other parts of the city and nearby cities and towns making urban areas in the state of Tripura more livable, citizen-friendly, resilient, and sustainable.
(With inputs from PIB)