Asian Development Bank signs $273m loan to improve India’s rural roads
The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have jointly signed a $273m loan to improve rural roads in the country, as part of a $1.23bn rural connectivity investment project.
The 20-year loan is the third and last tranche of an $800m loan which covers 65% of the programme, while the government is contributing $425m – 35% of the overall cost.
More than 6,100km of all-weather rural roads in the states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal, benefiting around 4,200 residents, will be constructed as part of the project expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2017.
The signatories included S. Selvakumar, joint secretary (bilateral cooperation) at the Department of Economic Affairs at India’s finance ministry, and Teresa Kho, country director for ADB’s India Resident Mission.
Kho said the programme would improve and sustain “connectivity of selected rural communities in the five states.”
And Selvakumar said it has “supported the government’s objectives under the prime minister’s rural roads initiative (PMGSY) by providing all-weather road connectivity in selected rural areas in the five states.”
Enhanced connectivity, he added, “will improve access to markets, district headquarters, health and education facilities, and other centres of economic activity.”
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 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9bn, including co-financing of $9.2bn.