The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to provide US$ 200 million to help the Indian state of Uttarakhand recover from unprecedented floods and landslides that have affected close to a million people.

“The June disaster took many lives and wiped out the livelihoods of thousands,” said Juan Miranda, director general of ADB’s South Asia Department.

“With rescue and evacuation activities completed, we now need to rebuild roads, power and water supply systems, and other infrastructure so that families can start to rebuild their lives. We need to act fast and do the rebuilding well.”

In mid-June 2013, heavy rainfall, and floods washed away several towns, with the districts of Bageshwar, Chamoli, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, and Uttarkashi worst affected. Almost 600 people lost their lives and more than 5,400 people are still missing.

A joint damage and needs assessment by the government of Uttarakhand, ADB, and the World Bank estimated the preliminary cost of rehabilitation at close to US$ 700 million. However, the final cost could rise to more than US$ 1 billion.

The ADB loan will be used to rebuild 2,400 km of state roads, repair or reconstruct 16 damaged bridge and rehabilitate water supply facilities.

The rehabilitation works, due to be completed by the end of 2016, will be designed to better withstand future disasters.

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