ADB approved $177 million loan for Maharashtra Road Improvements.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Indian government have signed an agreement for a loan of $177 million on October 19, 2020. The loan has been approved to upgrade 450 kilometers of state highways and major district roads in Maharashtra.

Features and Significance of Project

  • This project will improve connectivity between rural areas and urban centres in Maharashtra.
  • It would enable the rural communities to access markets, employment opportunities and services in a better manner.
  • This would Improve the mobility and thus expand the development and livelihood opportunities outside the major urban centres to second-tier cities and towns. In turn, this would be reducing the income disparities.
  • The project would also strengthen the road safety measures by developing  road safety audit framework. The framework will also be protecting the vulnerable groups including the elderly, women, and children. This has included on the basis of international best practice.
  • The project will update road maintenance system on the basis of 5-year performance-based maintenance contracts.

To conclude, the project will upgrade 2 major district roads and 11 state highways. Combined length of the roads and highways will be of 450 km. It would be improving connectivity to national highways, interstate roads, airports, Rail hubs, seaports, agriculture areas,  district headquarters, industrial areas and enterprise clusters. The project will also provide training to the Maharashtra Public Works Department project staff. This would help them to build capacity in climate change adaptation and disaster resilient features in road design, maintenance,  planning and safety.