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World Bank to provide $ 120 million loan for Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project
New Delhi, November 19, 2020
The Government of India, the Government of Meghalaya and the World Bank today signed a $120 million project to improve and modernise the transport sector of state of Meghalaya.
The Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project (MITP) will help the state to harness its vast growth potential for high-value agriculture and tourism, an official press release said.
According to it, the project will improve about 300 km of strategic road segments and stand-alone bridges by using innovative, climate resilient, and nature-based solutions. It will also support innovative solutions such as precast bridges to reduce both time and cost of construction.
C. S. Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs said that the MITP will help Meghalaya develop reliable, climate resilient and safe roads which are crucial for the economic development of the state and its people as economic growth of any region is closely linked to its road infrastructure.
The loan agreement was signed by Mohapatra on behalf of the Government of India and Hideki Mori, Operations Manager (India), World Bank on behalf of the World Bank. Whereas, the project agreement was signed by Vijay Kumar D, Commissioner & Secretary (Planning) on behalf of Government of Meghalaya and Mori on behalf of the World Bank.
Difficult hilly terrain and extreme climatic conditions make Meghalaya’s transport challenges particularly complex. On account, today, about half of the 5,362 habitations in the state lack transport connectivity, the release pointed out.
Mori said the project would tap into Meghalaya’s growth potential in two ways. Within the state, it will provide the much-needed transport connectivity. It will also position Meghalaya as a major connecting hub for international trade through the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and the Nepal Corridor.
The operation will also support state government's “Restart Meghalaya Mission” to revive and boost development activities affected due to COVID-19 pandemic. It will help restore transport services and generate direct employment of about 8 million person- days.
The $120 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a maturity of 14 years including a grace period of 6 years, the release added.