May 28, 2020
Improved connectivity between rural and urban areas will provide better access to markets, employment opportunities, and services
It will help reduce income inequality in the state by providing second-tier cities and towns access to development and livelihood opportunities
The project includes a road safety audit framework for regular maintenance and upskilling of public works staff to improve quality standards
Beyond infrastructure growth and connectivity, ADB has signed a US$1.5 billion loan to curb the adverse health and socio-economic impacts of COVID-19
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a US$177 million loan to upgrade 450 km of state highways and major district roads (MDR) in the state of Maharashtra, according to an official Ministry of Finance release on May 28. The upgraded roads will assist in improving connectivity between rural areas and urban centers in the state, providing rural communities with better access to markets, employment opportunities, and services.
Improved mobility will help reduce income inequality in the state by expanding access to development and livelihood opportunities beyond major urban centers to second-tier cities and towns. In addition, the project aims to strengthen road safety measures with an audit framework, ensuring consistent performance-based maintenance and international quality standards. The safety measures also include the upskilling of public works staff members for infrastructure with better climate change adaptation and disaster resilience.
By upgrading 2 MDRs and 11 state highways across seven districts of Maharashtra, ADB continues to support the growth of infrastructure and connectivity across the country. Previously, ADB has granted a US$200-million for construction of rural roads in Maharashtra, a US$190-million loan to upgrade over 750 km of state highways and MDRs in Rajasthan, and loaned another US$250 million for Pradhan Mantri’s rural roads program as well as the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY).
Most recently, the Government and ADB signed a US$1.5 billion loan agreement on April 28 to curb the adverse health and socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan will assist India in rapidly increasing the testing and treatment of patients, as well as providing social protection to over 800 million people in the next three months. Earlier in April, the regional development bank had committed to support India’s emergency needs for the health sector while alleviating the economic impact of the pandemic, as well as measures to restore the dynamic economic growth of the country.