NEW DELHI, Nov 9 - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India on Monday signed a USD 273 million loan agreement to continue improving rural roads in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.
The 20-year loan represents the third tranche, which is also the last tranche of the USD 800 million financing facility under the Rural Connectivity Investment Programme. The loan will help in constructing over 6,000 km of all-weather rural roads in the five states. The third tranche is expected to be completed by December, 2017. The implementing agencies at the state level will be the respective state rural roads development agencies.
Joint Secretary (Bilateral Cooperation), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, S Selvakumar signed the loan agreement on behalf of the Government of India, while Country Director Teresa Kho, signed the loan agreement for the ADB.
Speaking on the occasion, Selvakumar said that the programme has supported the government�s objectives under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) by providing all-weather road connectivity in selected rural areas in the five states. He said that the enhanced connectivity will improve access of rural communities to markets, district headquarters, health and education facilities, and other centres of economic activity.
Teresa Kho said that it is expected that the project three will result in benefits similar to the previous two projects, including improving and sustaining the connectivity of selected rural communities in the five states. She said that this loan will be used to make further investments as well as supporting improved road design, road safety and asset management measures, and training, with women actively involved in all aspects.
The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) is the executing agency of the project at the Central level, while the governments of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal have been entrusted with overall implementation at their respective states.