New Delhi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $300 million loan as additional financing to scale up the improvement of transport infrastructure to help boost rural economy in the state of Maharashtra.
The additional financing for the ongoing Maharashtra Rural Connectivity Improvement Project will help improve an additional 1,100 rural roads and 230 bridges for a total length of 2,900 kilometers (km) in 34 districts.
The ongoing project with $200 million financing, approved in August 2019, is already enhancing and maintaining the condition and safety of 2,100 km of rural roads across Maharashtra.
The signatories to the loan agreement were Ministry of Finance’s Department of Economic Affairs Additional Secretary Rajat Kumar Mishra, who signed for the Government of India, and ADB Country Director for India Takeo Konishi, who signed for ADB.
"Improved connectivity through climate-resilient, all-weather rural roads will help accelerate Maharashtra’s economic recovery from covid-19 pandemic by generating rural employment and transforming agriculture," said Konishi in a press release on Wednesday.
The new project is expected to generate about 3.1 million person-days of employment for local communities, of which at least 25% will be for women, over the construction and maintenance periods.
A gender action plan has been prepared to focus on capacity development of women workers so that they can benefit from the semiskilled and unskilled labor opportunities.
This additional financing will rebuild and rehabilitate roads and bridges in Maharashtra destroyed by the devastating floods in August 2019.
The design incorporates flood and climate resilience measures, pilot testing the use of environment-friendly materials on selected road segments, use of mobile mapping technology to monitor the project roads, and use of new technologies such as fiber-reinforced concrete and precast concrete arch bridge.