The Ministry of Finance on 28.05.2020 announced the loan agreement of $177 million between Union and Asian Development Bank for Maharashtra State Road Improvement which aims development of 450 kilometers of state highways and major district roads in Maharashtra. The loan agreement was signed by Shri Sameer Kumar Khare (for Government of India) and Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama (for Asian Development Bank).

The project is likely to upgrade two major district roads and eleven state highways with combined length of 450 kilometers and two-lane standard across seven districts of Maharashtra. The project will improve the connectivity to national highways, interstate roads, seaports, airports, rail hubs, district headquarters, industrial areas, enterprise clusters and agricultural areas. Further, the project focuses on training Maharashtra Public Works Department project staff to build their capacity in climate change adaption and disaster resilient feature in road design, maintenance planning and safety.

According to Shri Khare, the project will improve connectivity between rural areas and urban center in state which would enable the rural communities to access markets, employment opportunities and services in better manner. Further, he said that, the improved mobility will expand development and livelihood opportunities outside of the state’s major urban centers to second-tier cities and towns reducing income disparities. Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama also expressed his views that the project will also strengthen road safety measures by developing a road safety audit framework which will protect vulnerable groups viz. elderly, women and children following the international best practice. Further, he enlightened that the project is to update road maintenance system by encouraging five-year performance-based maintenance obligations on contractors to sustain asset quality and service levels.

Asian Development Bank was established in 1966 with vision to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Currently it has 68 members out of which 49 are from the region. Mr. Yokoyama is the Country Director of India Resident Mission of the Asian Development.

Order:Loan ADB_PIB 28.05.2020

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