The Government of India and West Bengal Government have inked two loan agreements with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB) and World Bank (WB) for the “West Bengal Major Irrigation and Flood Management Project” to improve irrigation services and flood management in the Damodar Valley Command Area (DVCA) of West Bengal.The total outlay of the project is $413.8 million.The Government of West Bengal has infused $123.8 million for this project.
Agreement with World Bank:
One agreement is inked with the World Bank (WB) for a loan of $145 million. It was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India; Krishna Gupta, Principal Resident Commissioner, on behalf of the Government of West Bengal and Mr Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, India on behalf of the World Bank.
- The loan is financed by the lending arm of WB i.e. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
- The loan has a 6-year grace period, and a maturity of 23.5 years.
Agreement with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank:
The other agreement was inked with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for $145million. The agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and RajatMisra, Director General on behalf of the AIIB.
- The loan has a 6-year grace period, and a maturity of 24 years.
Need and Benefit for improvement
The DVCA is over 60 years old, and in need of modernization. The Lower Damodar basin area is historically flood-prone. On average, 33,500 hectares of the cropped area and 461,000 people are affected annually. In order to overcome this, the project will reduce flooding, including strengthening of embankments and desilting.
- Benefit: It will benefit about 2.7 million farmers from five districts of West Bengal across 393,964 ha area with better irrigation services and improved protection against annual flooding.
About World Bank
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States
President– David Malpass
Members– 189 countries
Subsidiaries: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Agency (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Headquarters– Beijing, China
Membership– 102; 80 members & 22 prospective members
About West Bengal:
Chief Minister– Mamata Banerjee