The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India (GoI) on Tuesday signed a $250 million loan to finance the construction of 6,254 kilometres all-weather rural roads in the States of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal under the Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Program (PMGSY), an official statement said.
Sameer Kumar, Khare, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs in the Government’s Ministry of Finance signed the loan agreement on behalf of Government of India and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission signed the agreement for ADB.
Mr Khare said that the ADB-funded investment program will provide continued assistance to the PMGSY and support the Government’s long-term goal for rural development.
He further added that the programme is likely to have a transformative impact in terms of rural economy and would also bring in greater efficiency in terms of access and connectivity for the rural people in the five States.
“Under the project, about 2,000 technical personnel would be imparted training on road safety and maintenance,” Khare, said.
“The First Tranche Loan is part of the $500 million Second Rural Connectivity Investment Program for India approved by the ADB Board in December 2017,” an official release said.
The program is aimed at improving rural connectivity, facilitating safer and more efficient access to livelihood and socio-economic opportunities for rural communities through improvements to about 12,000 kilometres Rural Roads across the 5 States.
Yokoyama said, “The investment program will support the Government’s drive for innovative approaches to reduce costs, conserve non-renewable natural resources, and promote the use of waste materials in rural road construction,” He further said that “Road maintenance will be ensured through the provision of a 5-year post-construction maintenance in each civil works contract.”
The investment program builds on the $800 million ADB-financed first Rural Connectivity Investment Program in 2012 that added about 9,000 kilometres of all-weather rural roads in the same States.
“Women were extensively consulted during the project design and will gain some key benefits, including improved access to healthcare, livelihoods, and schooling,” the official statemen t said.