Vijayawada: After the Washington-based World Bank, its partner, the China-headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), also pulled out of a proposal to finance the Amaravati capital city construction project. It is learnt that the AIIB followed in the footsteps of the World Bank. The two banks were to together lend $715 million to build critical infrastructure and facilities in five components in Amaravati. While the World Bank was supposed to provide $300 million, the AIIB was to lend $200 million, which is 28 per cent of the $715 million cost of the Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project.
“The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is no longer considering the Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project for funding,” a spokesperson told the news agency Reuters. In its risk assessment report, the World Bank had placed the project in ‘Category A’, signifying it could have “significant adverse environmental impacts.” The World Bank website on July 18, said that the project had been dropped, without giving any reasons. On July 21, it released a statement saying, “On July 15 the Government of India (GoI) withdrew its request to the World Bank for financing the proposed Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has been informed that the proposed project is no longer under preparation, following government’s decision.”
The main component of the Amaravati project — Integrated Urban Infrastructure and Services — costs $465 million of which the AIIB was to lend $108.9 million. This component will support the implementation of priority transport corridors as part of a broader land-use plan, and the integration of 25 villages into the Amaravati capital city. The component was to finance construction of 92.2 km of high-priority, sub-arterial roads as part of the network of roads planned under the Amaravati Capital City Master Plan including construction of associated utility corridors such as ducts for water, sewerage, drainage, communications and sidewalks, cycling paths and street lighting; building of road safety management capacity of relevant agencies, and implementation of a road safety plan.