Tuesday, November 28, 2023
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday approved a $180 million loan for the improvement of water supply and solid waste management services in Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur.
The project Developing Resilient Environments and Advancing Municipal Services in Punjab Project, according to the ADB, will benefit close to 1.5 million people.
The project curtails excessive groundwater extraction and urban environment degradation by expanding and modernising urban water supply in Rawalpindi and solid waste management systems in Bahawalpur.
“This project will help make municipal services in these two cities more sustainable, resilient, and less carbon-intensive,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov.
“By helping to deliver reliable water supply and improving waste management, we expect to significantly improve the lives of people in Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur.”
In Rawalpindi, the project will help build new surface water intakes and a water treatment plant with a capacity of 54 million litres/day. Under the project, 82,000 households with metered connections will be connected with transmission and distribution pipes. The financing will also upgrade water pumps and transmission mains to augment surface water supply and establish three pilot district metering areas to enhance operational efficiency.
In Bahawalpur, the project will help improve solid waste collection via the procurement of waste collection equipment and a new fleet to expand coverage along with a new fleet management information system. The project will construct a recycling facility along with a floodproof landfill and rehabilitate the existing dump site. The financing will also enable the provision of personal protective equipment for informal sector workers.
“Aside from improving infrastructure services, ADB’s project will help enhance the operational efficiency, inclusivity, and financial sustainability of Rawalpindi Water and Sanitation Agency and Bahawalpur Waste Management Company,” said ADB Urban Development Specialist Xijie Lu.
“We also aimed to be innovative, with some of the project’s components featuring renewable technologies, cost-recovery interventions, and behavioral change and communication elements.”
ADB will also administer a $1 million technical assistance provided by the Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund, to strengthen the capacity of the Rawalpindi Water and Sanitation Agency to address leakages in the city’s water supply network.