OREANDA-NEWS. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a $120 million loan agreement to continue improving irrigation and water management infrastructure in Odisha.

The loan is the second tranche of a $157.5 million financing facility under the Orissa Integrated Irrigated Agriculture and Water Management Investment Program. The financing will be used for modernizing seven irrigation subprojects resulting in improved irrigation in over 100,000 hectares, and strengthening of Water User Associations (WUAs) and the institutional capacity of Odisha’s Department of Water Resources. The selected areas for the investment program are the Baitarani, Brahmani, Budhabalanga, and Subernarekha river basins and part of the Mahanadi delta.

Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs at India’s Ministry of Finance signed the loan agreement for Government of India, and M. Teresa Kho, Country Director, of ADB’s India Resident Mission signed for ADB. P. K. Jena, Principal Secretary, Department of Water Resources, signed the project agreement on behalf of the Government of Odisha.

The second tranche loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 20-year term. The State of Odisha, acting through its Department of Water Resources is responsible for implementing the tranche 2 activities and overall program, which are both due for completion by September 2018.