ADB to finance Indian district road upgrade
By Chris Sleight20 November 2014
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$ 350 million loan to upgrade district roads in India’s Madhya Pradesh state. These funds will cover 70% of the project cost of US$ 500 million, with the state government of Madhya Pradesh providing the balance of US$ 150 million.
The project will see the upgrading of some 1,600 km of major district roads through lane widening, surface improvements, and strengthening of culverts and bridges. This is designed to cut travel times, improve traffic flow and road safety, and provide better access to markets and social services for poor and remote communities. The project is expected to be completed in April 2018.
Five-year performance-based maintenance contracts will be included as an adjunct to the construction contracts. These are designed ensure the roads are constructed to high standards and well-maintained after initial work is completed.
Ravi Peri, principal transport specialist within the bank’s South East Asia department’s transport and communications division, said, “Madhya Pradesh, India’s second largest state, has widely scattered industrial and growth centres and agricultural production areas, so an efficient and safe road network is essential for the economy and well-being of citizens. The loan, which is ADB’s first in the district roads sector in India, will address a neglected part of ongoing road network upgrades, with these secondary roads providing a key link between rural roads and state highways.”
According to the ADB, Madhya Pradesh has a road network of some 127,000 km, including 4,700 km of national highways, 11,000 km of state highways, and 20,000 km of major district roads. Rural roads make up the balance. Vehicle use has is said to have risen some +10% per year over the past decade and the Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation estimates that more than US$ 1.2 billion in investment will be needed in the state road sector from 2013-2023.