Mumbai, May 28 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will give a loan of USD 177 million to upgrade 450 kms of state highways and major districts roads in Maharashtra, an official said here on Thursday.
The agreement was signed for the Maharashtra State Road Improvement Project by the Ministry of Finance’s Additional Secretary (Fund Bank & ADB) Sameer Kumar Khare and ADB India’s Resident Mission Country Director Kenichi Yokoyama.
Under the project, 2 major district roads and 11 state highways, with a total length of 450 kms would be upgraded to double-lane standard across seven districts.
This will boost connectivity to the national highways, interstate roads, seaports, airports, rail hubs, district headquarters, industrial centres, enterprise clusters and agriculture areas in the state.
Khare said that the project would improve connectivity between rural and urban centres in the state enabling rural communities better access to markets, employment opportunities and services.
The improved mobility will expand development and livelihood opportunities outside the state’s major urban centres to second-tier cities and towns, thus reducing the income disparities.
According to Yokoyama, the project will also strengthen road safety measures by developing a road safety audit framework intended at protecting vulnerable groups like elderly, women and children, in tune with the best international practices.
Another feature of the project would be to update the road maintenance system by encouraging a 5-year performance-based maintenance obligation to contractors to sustain asset quality and service levels.
It will also focus on training the Maharashtra PWD project staffers to build their capacity in climate change adaptation and disaster resilient features in road design, maintenance planning and safety.