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Deal signed for improvement of two northeastern states

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Agartala: To improve the infrastructure of two northeastern states Tripura and Mizoram, the government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed an $80-million loan on Thursday.

“The loan is the third tranche of a $200-million financing facility under the North Eastern Region Capital Cities Development Investment Program and will be used for investments in water supply, solid waste management and sanitation in Agartala and Aizawl,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

“It will also support urban reforms, benefiting nearly a million people in the two cities,” it added.

Not only these two cities, previous programme tranches have provided assistance to three other cities in the northeast Shillong, Kohima, and Gangtok, the capital cities of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim, respectively.

Joint Secretary (multilateral institutions) in the department of economic affairs, Ministry of Finance, Raj Kumar, signed the agreement on Thursday on behalf of the Indian government

On the other side, Teresa Kho, country director in ADB’s India resident mission, signed on behalf of the ADB.

Whereas separate sub-project agreements were signed between central government officials and representatives of the governments of Tripura and Mizoram.

“The loan will support further investments to increase access to sustainable and improved urban services, with Aizwal and Agartala cities, selected for financing under the third tranche of the programme based on their progress on reforms and implementation performance under earlier tranches,” the Ministry statement said.

The third tranche loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 20-year term and it’s the responsibility of the Urban Development Ministry to implement the third tranche’s activities and overall programme, which are both due for completion by June 2019.

Manila-based ADB works to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members, including 48 from the region.(IANS)

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New Zealand Government Announces Ambitious Plan to Protect Endangered Dolphins

The proposals also include the Department of Conservation developing an action plan to deal with toxoplasmosis

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New Zealand, Government, Dolphins
Proposals for consultation for a revised Threat Management Plan to protect the dolphins released on Monday. Pixabay

The New Zealand government on Monday unveiled a plan to expand and strengthen the protection for the endangered Maui and Hector’s dolphins.

Proposals for consultation for a revised Threat Management Plan to protect the dolphins released on Monday.

Extending the boundaries of the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary south to Wellington and extending the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary north to Kaikoura, south to Timaru, and offshore to 20 nautical miles are included in the proposals.

The proposals also include the Department of Conservation developing an action plan to deal with toxoplasmosis, a disease that can affect dolphins and other marine mammals, by targeting research to answer knowledge gaps, enhancing education for cat owners and advocating for riparian and wetland restoration.

New Zealand, Government, Dolphins
The New Zealand government on Monday unveiled a plan to expand and strengthen the protection for the endangered Maui and Hector’s dolphins. Pixabay

“These precious dolphins are New Zealand taonga (treasure). We need to act now to ensure their populations increase and both species thrive,” said Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.

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It is estimated that only 63 Maui dolphins are remaining, and Hector’s dolphins are nationally vulnerable with about 15,000 in New Zealand waters. (IANS)