ADB inks $177-mn highway building loan pact

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Central government has signed a $177 million loan to upgrade 450 km state highways and major district roads in Maharashtra. The signatories to the Maharashtra State Road Improvement Project included Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance signed for the Government of India, and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB's India Resident Mission signed for ADB. Khare informed 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 tier 2 cities and towns thus reducing income disparities. Yokoyama of ADB said that the project will 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. Another feature of the project is to update the road maintenance system by encouraging 5-year performance-based maintenance obligations to contractors to sustain asset quality and service levels.
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