Pollution control: WB to contribute $250m loan to project for big cities
The government has taken an initiative to set up four new vehicle inspection centres (VICs) to control emissions.
It will be implemented as a component of the Bangladesh Environmental Sustainability and Transformation (BEST) project in which the World Bank will contribute $250m in loans.
The WB approved the fund yesterday.
Currently, there is only one VIC operated by the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) in the capital's Mirpur.
Pollution is most visible in the air, rivers and waste disposal sites of the major cities in Bangladesh, reads the project appraisal report of the WB released last month.
The Bangladesh Bank, BRTA, Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority and the Department of Environment will implement different components of the project expected to close on December 31, 2028.
The project will pilot new financing mechanisms to promote green investments in targeted sectors, and establish a Green Credit Guarantee Scheme to incentivise the financial sector to support green investments to reduce air pollution, said the report.
Successful implementation of the project will help the country tackle key pollution issues, benefiting over 21 million people living in Dhaka and beyond.
The credit is from the WB's International Development Association (IDA), which provides concessional financing, and has a 30-year term with a five-year grace period.
"Bangladesh's rapid economic growth and urbanisation have come at a high environmental cost in terms of pollution. Not only that the pollution is impacting our health, but also it is eroding the country's economic competitiveness," said Dandan Chen, WB acting country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.
"The World Bank has been a long-standing partner to Bangladesh in tackling environmental challenges. This project will strengthen the country's environmental institutions to better control pollution and promote sustainable development," he added.
The project will help construct four VICs using private-public partnership modality to inspect about 46,000 vehicles a year. An e-waste management facility will be set up to process 3,500 tonnes of e-waste annually.
It will also help reduce over 1 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from targeted sources.