WASHIGNTON, DC, December 23, 2014—Today the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved two loans totaling $350 million to the People’s Republic of China to support urban rail development in Henan’s provincial capital Zhengzhou, and to enhance flood protection and wastewater services in Chongqing Municipality.
The Zhengzhou Urban Rail Project, financed with an IBRD loan of US$250 million, will support construction of the Urban Rail Line 3 that will connect the city center of Zhengzhou with its northwest and southeast development areas. It will directly benefit over 900,000 people who live or work in the areas along the rail line by providing a faster, safer, more reliable, more affordable transit option with lower impact on the environment. This is the third urban rail project that the World Bank has supported in China, after the Kunming Urban Rail Project and Nanchang Urban Rail Project.
“The project will ensure good accessibility to rail stations by public transit, biking and walking. It will also emphasize better integration of land use planning and urban transport,” said Gerald Ollivier, Senior Transport Specialist at the World Bank. “Knowledge gained in this project will also contribute to solutions in other cities in China, through TransFORM, a collaborative transformation and innovation platform between China’s Ministry of Transport and the World Bank, to make transport safer, cleaner and more affordable in China,” he added.
The Chongqing Small Towns Water Environment Project, financed with an IBRD loan of US$100 million, will address flood risks and water pollution in four counties (Tongnan, Rongchang, Shizhu and Pengshui). This project, which is expected to benefit about 500,000 people, is part of the municipality’s urban-rural integration investments.
Lacking proper flood protection, these counties are vulnerable to increasingly frequent flooding from the Wujiang and Fujiang Rivers. The project will help raise flood control standards from one in 5-10 years to one in 10-20 years, through investments in construction of river embankments with associated dike-top roads and sewage and drainage pipe works. It will also strengthen early warning and emergency response capacity, improve hydromet monitoring and information management systems, upgrade flood risk mapping and safety zoning.
“The project will serve as a pilot to demonstrate innovative and practical approaches for water-related infrastructure investment in small cities and towns, which can be applied in other counties in Chongqing and similar small towns in China,” said Ji You, Urban Specialist at the World Bank.