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ADB to provide $ 177-million loan for road improvement project in Maharashtra
New Delhi, October 20, 2020
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $177-million loan here on Monday to upgrade 450 kilometers (km) of state highways and major district roads in Maharashtra.
The signatories to the Maharashtra State Road Improvement Project were Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, who signed for the Government of India, and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB.
After signing the loan agreement, Khare said the project will improve connectivity between rural areas and urban centres in the state, enabling rural communities to better access markets, employment opportunities and services. Improved mobility will expand development and livelihood opportunities outside of the state’s major urban centers to second-tier cities and towns thus reducing income disparities.
Yokoyama said that the project will also strengthen road safety measures by developing a road safety audit framework that will protect vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women, and children, following the international best practice. Another feature of the project is to update road maintenance system by encouraging 5-year performance-based maintenance obligations to contractors to sustain asset quality and service levels.
An official press release said that, overall, the project will upgrade two major district roads and 11 state highways, with combined length of 450 km, to 2-lane standard across seven districts of Maharashtra, and improve connectivity to national highways, interstate roads, seaports, airports, rail hubs, district headquarters, industrial areas, enterprise clusters and agricultural areas.
The project will also focus on training the Maharashtra Public Works Department project staff to build their capacity in climate change adaptation and disaster resilient features in road design, road maintenance planning and road safety, the release added.