World Bank’s USD 105 Million Loan to Improve Waterways in West Bengal

The World Bank, the Indian Government, and the Government of West Bengal have signed an agreement for a $105 million project. This project is named the West Bengal Inland Water Transport, Logistics, and Spatial Development Project.

Key Points

  • The project is aimed at improving the inland water transport infrastructure in Kolkata.
  • The project will ease the freight and passenger traffic movement across the Hooghly river.
  • Under the project, spatial planning for improving accessibility in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area will be done to contribute to the growth of the logistics sector and to improve the quality of life of residents.
  • The project will be covering the 5 most populous districts of southern West Bengal, including the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) where about 30 million people or one-third population of the state lives.
  • In Kolkata, the Hooghly River separates the Kolkata port from wholesale markets and hinterland comprising of North East India and neighboring countries like Bhutan and Nepal. Under the project, steps will be taken to connect the hinterland with job centers and markets in Kolkata Metropolitan Area.
  • The loan of $105 million will be provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
  • The loan has a maturity of 17 years, including a grace period of 7 years.

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

IBRD is the lending organization of the World Bank. It provides loans to middle-income countries. IBRD was established in the year 1944 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. At present, it has 189 member countries.