Lahore: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently signed an agreement to finance water and agriculture projects in Punjab, a news source reported. To this effect, the international institution will provide USD 8.32 million for enhancing water availability and increasing agricultural productivity in the province.
ADB would disburse the funds under its ‘Project Readiness Financing Facility’ for the ‘Punjab Water Resources Management Projects’. The loan would help finance the preparation of detailed designs and safeguard documents, due diligence work, feasibility studies and more before the execution of priority irrigation infrastructure projects in the province.
‘This loan will ensure that the proposed, upcoming irrigation projects — which are fundamental to the development of Pakistan’s agriculture sector — get off to the best possible start,’ ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang said.
In this regard, the Punjab government has identified the following projects:
- Greater Thal Canal Project Phase 2 (Dhingana Branch System)
- Improvement of the Dera Ghazi Khan Canal irrigation system
- Rehabilitation and upgrade of Upper Jhelum Canal System
- Remodelling of the Rasul–Qadirabad, Qadirabad–Balloki, and Balloki–Suleimanki canals
- Noorpur Branch System, and Mahmood Sub-Branch System)
- Harnessing of hill torrents in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur
According to reports, the ADB loan facility is expected to help reduce completion delays in these projects and assist the provincial government in mobilising the required funding more effectively.