India to Obtain $ 177 Million AfDB Loan for Maharashtra Road Improvement
The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) and the Indian government on Monday signed a $ 177 million loan agreement to upgrade 450 kilometers of state highways and major district roads in Maharashtra state.
The signatories of the Maharashtra National Road Improvement Project were Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and AfDB), Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance, who signed for the Government of India, and Kenichi Yokoyama, Director from ADB countries to India. Resident mission who signed for the AfDB.
Khare said the project will improve connectivity between rural areas and urban centers in the state, allowing rural communities to better access markets, employment opportunities and services. Improved mobility will expand development and livelihood opportunities outside the state’s major urban centers to second-tier cities, thereby reducing income disparities, he added.
Yokoyama said 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, in line with international best practices. Another feature of the project is to update the road maintenance system by encouraging 5-year performance-based maintenance obligations for contractors to maintain asset quality and service levels.
Overall, the project will upgrade 2 main district roads and 11 state highways, with a combined length of 450 km, to the 2-lane standard in seven districts of Maharashtra, and improve connectivity to national highways, interstate highways, seaports, airports, rail hubs, district headquarters, industrial areas, business clusters and agricultural areas.
The project will also focus on training project staff from the Maharashtra Department of Public Works to build their capacity in climate change adaptation and disaster resilience in road design, road maintenance planning. and road safety.
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