India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $250 million loan to finance the construction of 6,254 km of all-weather rural roads in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.
The project which is operated under the flagship Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Programme (PMGSY) improving rural connectivity.
According to an official statement, ‘The First Tranche Loan is part of the $500 million Second Rural Connectivity Investment Program for India approved by the ADB Board in December 2017. The program is aimed at improving rural connectivity, facilitating safer and more efficient access to livelihood and socio-economic opportunities for rural communities through improvements to about 12,000 kilometres Rural Roads across the 5 States’.
The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs in the government’s Ministry of Finance and Kenichi Yokoyama, country director of the ADB office in New Delhi.
Speaking on the development Sameer Khare said, ‘ADB-funded investment program will support the Government’s long-term goal for rural development. The rural roads programme would have a transformative impact on the rural economy and would bring in greater efficiency in terms of access and connectivity for rural populations in the five states. Under the project, about 2,000 technical personnel would also be trained on road safety and maintenance’