The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed ODA loan agreements totalling up to US$1.24bn, with both the government of India (US$1.10bn), and the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (US$150mn).
As a result, the amount of this year’s loan package provided by JBIC to India has increased by 7.6% from the previous fiscal year.
India is home to one-third of the world’s poor, with 35% of its population living under a dollar a day. The promotion of economic growth and an increase in both employment and income opportunities are integral drivers that can accelerate poverty reduction – a top priority for the government.
However, underdeveloped infrastructure such as water supply and sewerage has hindered growth efforts for many industries. In the meantime, environmental problems such as contaminated river water and air pollution are getting worse in India. Pollution in India is on such a large scale that these problems may even have a direct impact on the global environment issues.
The Bangalore water supply and sewerage project (II-I) is intended to support this rapidly growing metropolitan area, which has been dubbed the Silicon Valley of India. The project will develop the water supply and sewerage facilities. The project will also put in place measures for a comprehensive improvement of water business management by fostering human resources, introducing automatic fare paying machines, and delegating operations to the private sector. The project will also carry out public relations activities designed to explain issues concerning the water supply service and the significance of water saving practices.
The Rajasthan minor irrigation improvement project aims at increasing agricultural output by rehabilitating existing minor irrigation facilities, organising farmers’ water user associations and disseminating farming technology in Rajasthan, western India. Rajastan suffers from extremely scarce rainfall and Rajastani farmers rely upon irrigation facilities for its farming water. Under this project, JBIC will help upgrade the living conditions of the poor, in partnership with local NGOs, by supporting their saving and financing activities and implementing anti-malaria measures.
The Ganga action plan project will support the improvement of the water quality of the Ganges River by enhancing water treatment capacity of the sewerage facility. This project will seek to improve the overall public health environment. A campaign to raise awareness about public hygiene will be held and community toilets and public baths will be constructed in slums.
Environmental improvement will be addressed through projects such as the Tamil Nadu afforestation project (II) and the Karnataka sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation project, which will plant trees in land space equivalent to 80-85 percent of Tokyo in the respective states. Both projects aim at reviving the forest and improving living conditions for those who depend on the forest resources by providing occupational training and micro-finance. Meanwhile, Karnataka project is aimed at implementing measures to preserve bio-diversity in the Western Ghats area.