Mumbai: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday signed a $177 million loan to upgrade 450 km of state highways and major district roads in Maharashtra.
“ADB and the Central government signed a $177 million loan to upgrade 450 km of state highways and major district roads in the state of Maharashtra,” an official release said.
Under the Maharashtra state road improvement project, two major district roads and 11 state highways, with a combined length of 450 km will be upgraded to two-lane standards across seven districts.
The projects would improve connectivity to national highways, interstate roads, seaports, airports, rail hubs, district headquarters, industrial areas, enterprise clusters and agricultural areas.
“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 centres to second-tier cities and towns thus reducing income disparities,” Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance said.
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 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, following the international best practice,” Kenichi Yokoyama Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission said.
He further said the project is to update the road maintenance system by encouraging five-year performance-based maintenance obligations to contractors to sustain asset quality and service levels.