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‘ADB mulling over $100m loan to MC’

BAHAWALPUR: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is actively contemplating advancing $100 million loan to Bahawalpur Municipal Corporation (MC) for the development of four sectors in the city.

Mayor Aqeel Najam Hashmi told the media here on Saturday that the ADB under its ‘Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement’ programme wanted to provide the loan facility to the municipal corporation. He said a four-member survey team of the ADB, led by its Senior Urban Environmental Engineer Neil Chadder, during their two-day visit on Thursday and Friday exchanged views to extend loans in sectors of solid waste, sewerage, potable water and rehabilitation of roads.

The team also paid a visit to the proposed landfill site and waste collection points in and around the city. The mayor claimed that the ADB team with the support of the Punjab government wanted to provide relief to the local population in accessing basic amenities.

He also claimed that the team, which had visited other cities of the province as well, remarked that in terms of sanitation standards Bahawalpur was found much better than other cities during their professional visits to India, Bangladesh and Philippines.

Briefing about the ADB team’s visit, Bahawalpur Waste Management Company (BWMC) Managing Director Muhammad Naeem Akhtar said the bank’s consultants were due here in the next two months and they would likely set up a camp here to finalise feasibility reports.

He hoped that work on the feasibility report for the loan to MC would begin by July, and it could take a few months to be finalised by consultants and submitted for approval to the ADB’s head office. He also said that he had asked the team to help the BWMC finalise approval of the proposed landfill site in Naubad village near the city.

Akhtar claimed the ADB was also considering extending the loan facility to Rahim Yar Khan, Sahiwal and Sialkot cities.

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