World Bank to lend $210m for rural roads project in India


The Government of India and the Government of Madhya Pradesh have signed a $210m loan agreement with the World Bank for the Madhya Pradesh Rural Connectivity Project to upgrade road network in the state.

The project will cover a 10,510km stretch of rural roads in Madhya Pradesh that fall under the Chief Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (CMGSY). While 10,000km will be upgraded from existing gravel to bituminous surface roads, 510 km of new roads will be built to the same bituminous surface standard.

The CMGSY is a state-funded scheme focusing on smaller villages not covered under PMGSY or any other scheme.

As gravel-surfaced roads are more prone to washout than paved roads during flood seasons, the project will take up resilience measures, including surface sealing of roads, embankment pitching, and balancing culverts, to prevent damage caused by extreme flood events.

Alternate sealing options for road construction such as polymer-modified asphalt, asphalt blended with plastic waste, and multiple surface treatment, will be piloted on 20% of the length to bring down costs and also reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector.

The project, on a pilot basis, will engage women self-help groups (SHGs) in the post-construction maintenance of off-carriage way parts of the road. A maintenance contract will be executed between the SHG group and MPRRDA for three to five years.

The project will also strengthen road safety management systems to reduce fatalities and serious injuries from road accidents.

It will focus on improving road accident data collection and analysis at central and state levels by implementing the Road Accident Database Management System (RADMS); strengthening road safety capacity at the central level; and focusing on training.

The state government will implement a Road Safety Programme (PCRSP) on pilot basis in districts with most fatal and serious injuries. Local communities will be involved to develop customised solutions to improve road safety.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan has a five-year grace period and a maturity of 25 years.

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