The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan of $ 500 million to build new metro lines in Bengaluru, Karnataka, and an additional $ 300 million to strengthen primary health care in urban areas of the country.
“It will strengthen the economy, improve the urban environment and make the city more livable. The project supports the urban transformation of the city of Bengaluru through a multidimensional approach to urban public transport and urban development, ”said Kaoru Kasahara, AfDB Senior Transport Specialist for South Asia.
“The new metro lines will facilitate daily commuters and ease traffic congestion across the city, thereby contributing to overall productivity,” he said in a statement. “The project will provide efficient, punctual and safe transportation in the city and promote a clean urban environment.
The project will construct two new, mostly elevated metro lines with a total length of 56 km along the Outer Ring Road and National Route 44 between the Central Silk Board and Kempegowda International Airport.
It will also establish 30 metro stations, which will include multimodal facilities such as bus docks, a taxi rank, motorcycle pools, and pedestrian bridges and bridges. The needs of vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women, children and people with disabilities will be incorporated into the design of the facilities.
An additional technical assistance grant of $ 2 million from the AfDB will help the state government to formulate urban development plans and their implementation frameworks, with an emphasis on transport-oriented development. common and multimodal integration.
It will also strengthen the capacity of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd and other public bodies to implement transit-oriented development and multimodal integration.
The AfDB said the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has exerted pressure and revealed weaknesses in India’s health system. In response, the government launched the Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY) to strengthen public health systems and respond to future pandemics and other emergencies.
AfDB’s Urban Comprehensive Primary Health Care Strengthening Program will support Ayushman Bharat (Healthy India Initiative) (AB-HWC) and PM-ASBY health and wellness centers to ensure access equitable to comprehensive and quality primary health care services in urban areas of 13 states.
The program will benefit approximately 256 million city dwellers, including 51 million from the slums of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan , Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal.
“India has made impressive progress in ensuring access and quality of health services for all. However, COVID-19 has shown us that challenges remain and that we need to do more and address these issues, ”AfDB Senior Social Sector Specialist for South Asia said. Gi Soon Song.
“This program aims to meet not only the medical needs of the urban population, but also the physical and mental health and well-being of the target beneficiaries.”
The program will strengthen the institutional capacity, operation and management of urban health and wellness centers at central, state and municipal levels. It aims to address the current challenges of COVID-19 while ensuring the continued delivery of non-COVID-19 health services.
It will conduct health and nutrition awareness and education campaigns, including preventive measures and strategies. Health information and delivery systems for primary health care will be upgraded through digital tools, quality assurance mechanisms and engagement and partnership with the private sector.
In addition to the loan, a technical assistance grant of $ 2 million from the AfDB’s Japan Poverty Reduction Fund will provide technical support for program implementation and coordination, capacity building, innovation and the application of new knowledge to the health system.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)