India Infrastructure News

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India Infrastructure News: The India Infrastructure News is that ADB is supporting an investment program that was requested by the Government of India to help improve the delivery of basic services in the state of Jammu and Kashmir to help sustain economic growth in the region through better urban infrastructure services and management.

"The program will expand water supply, sanitation, waste management, urban transport, and other municipal functions in Jammu, Srinagar and other vital towns and commercial centers of the state of Jammu and Kashmir," said Alex Jorgensen, ADB's Principal Urban Development Specialist in the India Resident Mission.

"The proposed investment program will improve public health, the living environment and employment opportunities for the 2.4 million people living in Srinagar, Jammu, and other participating towns of commercial importance," Mr. Jorgensen said. "It will also improve the capacity of participating institutions to manage sector reforms and deliver better services."

ADB is helping to fund the program through a $300 million loan facility to cover the bulk of the $485 million program cost. The funding under the investment program will be available in stages, through four successive loans, until December 2015. Depending on the speed of reforms and the capacity of the State to implement the works, the proposed number of individual loans under the program could be increased to five or six. ADB funding will come from ordinary capital resources.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir depends mainly on agriculture, tourism, services, and handicrafts. Economic activity is picking up in the state, and the services sector has grown over the last five years and now contributes more than 50% of its gross domestic product.
However, the basic urban services in the main towns are dilapidated and inadequate due in part to the influx of migrants from rural areas and lack of investment in maintenance and expansion. Data from the Government of India and the state of Jammu and Kashmir show that in terms of access to basic urban services, Jammu and Kashmir lags behind most of the other states due to limited investment and funding.

According to the 2001 census of India (India Infrastructure News), nearly 30% of the population of Jammu and Srinagar lives in slums with poor services, particularly sanitation. Piped water is available to most of the population of the two towns, but is limited to one to two hours daily in many areas, at low pressure. About 40% of the solid waste in Jammu and 30% in Srinagar remain uncollected and disposed of indiscriminately into local drains, streams and rivers.

"The planned and sustainable growth of the urban centers, particularly the two principal cities of Srinagar and Jammu, where the bulk of trade and commerce takes place, is an essential part of the economic strategy of the state of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

According to an India Infrastructure News, Ansal Properties & Infrastructure Limited, a leading real estate developer in India had announced their foray into the hospitality sector by floating a new SPV alongwith Ambience Hospitality Management Pvt. Ltd., owned by Mr. Vipin Luthra of The Palms- Town & Country Club and Geoffrey's restaurants.

Ansal API will hold 80% equity in the proposed SPV and the balance 20% will be held by Ambience Hospitality Management Pvt. Ltd. The SPV plans to set up 30 hotels over next 10years with an investment of ` 2000crs.

Last updated On: 7th May 2011

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