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The New Development Bank (NDB) has signed a loan agreement of USD 100 million with the government for financing a water project in Rajasthan. The loan agreement for financing of Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project for the desert areas was signed between the Government of India and NDB on February 13, 2018, an official statement said today. The loan is the first tranche of the USD 345 million by the NDB under the multi tranche financing facility for this project. "The objective of this project is to rehabilitate the 678 km long Indira Gandhi Canal system built during 1958-63 to prevent seepage, conserve water, and enhance water use efficiency as mandated by both national and state level policies on water use," the finance ministry said in a statement. The project benefits include arresting the seepage by rehabilitating the deteriorating canal lining of the Indira Gandhi Nahar Project (IGNP) which needs urgent attention; rehabilitation of waterlogged areas; modernisation and optimisation of the irrigation management practices in the project area by involvement of the water users associations (WUA) in the command area. The project will also strengthen the drinking water supply and irrigation facilities. The project implementation period is 6 years. Rajasthan government will implement the project through its water resources department. The loan agreement was signed by Govind Mohan, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the union government and Shaohua Wu, Director General, Project Financing, NDB. The project agreement was signed by Shikhar Agarwal, Principle Secretary, Water Resources Department on behalf of the Government of Rajasthan. The NDB is promoted by BRICS --Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa--with the aim to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in these countries as well as other emerging economies.
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