Central government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) inked an agreement on December 22 to secure a USD 100 million loan. Agreement is aimed at enhancing urban services and tourism facilities in the northeastern state of Tripura.
After the signing ceremony, Joint Secretary Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, Juhi Mukherjee emphasized the project’s focus on upgrading municipal infrastructure and public services in urban local bodies along the primary national highways in Tripura, in addition to elevating key tourism sites.
ADB’s India Resident Mission’ Nilaya Mitash shared insights into the project’s broader objectives, stating, “The project will support the state as a gateway to the northeast region by developing tourist destinations along highways and by improving urban governance and financial sustainability through improved resource mobilization and creditworthiness.”
He added, “ADB support will also strengthen the capacity of ULBs for integrated planning, including climate and disaster resilience, and identification of community and private sector participation for tourism and marketing.”
The initiative is set to enhance urban water supply systems through the installation of 42 kilometers of new transmission and distribution pipes, the establishment of four new water treatment plants, and the improvement of 55 kilometers of stormwater drains.
Additionally, the project will upgrade 21 kilometers of urban roads with features catering to the specific needs of the elderly, women, children, and differently-abled individuals.
In a bid to bolster the delivery of urban services, the project will impart essential skills to 12 urban local bodies in areas such as planning, infrastructure operations and maintenance, financial management, gender equality and social inclusion, and project management.
Furthermore, the state government is slated to update its building regulations, incorporating spatial planning and green building principles to ensure climate and disaster resilience.
The ADB’s involvement extends to upgrading renowned tourist destinations like the Chaturdash Devata Temple, Kasba Kalibari, and Neermahal Palace. The enhancements will focus on improving amenities, rooms, landscaping, and making these sites more visitor- and gender-friendly. Additionally, the project will introduce a digital museum and a new adventure park.
As part of strategy, a 10-year tourism business plan is in the pipeline, which will guide marketing, promotion, and attract private sector involvement. Simultaneously, the state’s tourism policy is set to undergo an update.
By Manish Poswal