Shillong, July 23 (IANS): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today announced a $200 million loan to build roads in six States in India's Northeast.
The loan will help upgrade 400 km of roads in Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura, said Hideaki Iwasaki, a Portfolio Management Specialist in ADB's South Asia Department. The work will include widening of existing roads, strengthening pavements, raising embankments and providing permanent structures at river crossings, Iwasaki said.
"More than 30 percent of the population in these States lives below the poverty line. By upgrading these roads we will be able to improve mobility and accessibility for many communities that will help provide new economic opportunities, boost growth and reduce poverty," Iwasaki said.
The loan will be released in two tranches. The first portion of nearly $75 million will be used for over 200-km of roads in Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim, he said in a statement.
The total programme investment cost is of $298.2 million, out of which the central and state governments will provide their part of $98.2 million.
The Indian Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region, along with State governments, will carry out the programme, which is to be completed by the end of December 2016. Assistance will also be given to raise the capacity of State public works departments to carry out effective planning and asset management.
An associated technical assistance grant of $1.2 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, administered by ADB, will be provided to introduce modern road management practices.