ADB grants £285m loan to improve road connectivity in India

WCN Editorial Team 5 Sep 2019 ASIA TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $350m (£285m) loan to rehabilitate and upgrade about 850km of state highways and major district roads in the state of Chhattisgarh.

The Chhattisgarh Road Connectivity Project is expected to improve transport connectivity and enhance people’s access to basic services while increasing livelihood opportunities.

Under the project, rehabilitation and/ or upgrade works on two state highways and 23 major district roads totalling about 850km will take place. The selected roads will be upgraded from single- or intermediate-lane width to two- or four-lane width with the hard shoulder in built-up areas.

The project is also expected to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Chhattisgarh Public Works Department in road maintenance and safety.

Under the project, bus stops in villages, with built-up areas, accessible to the elderly, women, children, and persons with disabilities, along with street lighting for security and road safety, especially in accident-prone areas will be built.

The loan was approved by ADB this May and the loan agreement was signed by Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs Additional Secretary Sameer Kumar Khare on behalf of the Government of India and ADB deputy country director for India Sabyasachi Mitra.

The project agreement was signed by the Government of Chhattisgarh Engineer-in-Chief and Project Director DK Agarwal.

Khare said: “Improving road connectivity across the country is a priority for the Government of India, and this project is expected to meet the demand for a safe and efficient road network in Chhattisgarh.

“State highways and major district roads are key links to economic growth centres. Continued development of the road network will foster inclusiveness and contribute to poverty reduction in the state.”

Mitra said: “ADB has been supporting the Government of Chhattisgarh’s road transport subsector through two earlier loans, approved in 2003 and 2012. Through this new loan, ADB continues its engagement in the state while introducing innovative approaches in road safety and road maintenance practices.”

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Image: Sabyasachi Mitra with Sameer Kumar Khare and D. K. Agarwal during the signing of the loan agreement. Photo: Courtesy of the Asian Development Bank.

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