NEW DELHI, July 10 � In yet another move aimed at boosting the road infrastructure in six States including Assam, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India on Monday signed an USD 74.8 million loan agreement to improve connectivity in the North Eastern region.
The loan constitutes the first tranche of the North Eastern State Roads Investment Programme, a USD200 million multi-tranche finance facility (MFF), expected to be executed in two tranches. Under the facility, a total of 433.7 km roads would be upgraded in six States� Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura.
The project is expected to be completed by December, 2016. The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) is the national executing agency.
The loan agreement was signed yesterday by Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Venu Rajamony on behalf of the Government of India and the Country Director for India on behalf of ADB, Hun Kim. The project agreements were signed by the Director in the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region PR Meshram and Commissioners and Secretaries of Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim.
Official sources said that the project would be ADB�s first transport sector project in North Eastern region to develop and implement road investments that follow widely-recognised best practices in engineering design, pre-construction activities and project management.
The programme envisages enhanced and Information Technology-based capacity development of the State implementing agencies including PWDs for improved road asset management, planning and project management. A road safety programme has also been incorporated with coordinated engineering, enforcement and education components.
The first tranche loan of USD 74.8 million from ADB makes up to 68 per cent of the total project cost of USD 109.8 million, with the Central and State Governments providing counterpart finance of USD 35 million.
This loan from the ordinary capital resources of the ADB has a 25-year term, including a grace period of 5 years, commitment charges of 0.15 per cent and interest rate in accordance with ADB�s LIBOR-based lending facility.