ADB lends $350M to upgrade Indian roads

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MANILA, Philippines: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $350 million loan to upgrade district roads in India’s Madhya Pradesh state in a project which will tackle an important link in road improvements.

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“Madhya Pradesh, India’s second largest state, has widely scattered industrial and growth centers and agricultural production areas, so an efficient and safe road network is essential for the economy and well-being of citizens,” said Ravi Peri, Principal Transport Specialist, Transport and Communications Division, South Asia Department. “The loan, which is ADB’s first in the district roads sector in India, will address a neglected part of ongoing road network upgrades, with these secondary roads providing a key link between rural roads and state highways.”

The project will upgrade about 1,600 kilometers of major district roads in the state through lane widening, surface improvements, and strengthening of culverts and bridges.

The project roads will also be covered under an accident response system being developed in the state, with assistance from ADB’s prior loans. The state is pioneering this initiative to create insurance links that will finance the immediate hospital treatment costs for road accident victims.

ADB’s loan will cover 70% of the total project cost of $500 million, with the state government of Madhya Pradesh providing the balance of $150 million. The project is expected to be completed in April 2018.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members–48 from the region. In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21.0 billion, including cofinancing of $6.6 billion.

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