AIIB to invest US$140m to improve rural connectivity in India

The loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be invested in improving livelihoods, education and mobility, benefit about 1.5 million rural residents of 5,640 Villages in Madhya Pradesh

April 12, 2018

The funding, which will go into improving livelihoods, education and mobility besides improving gender equality in income generation, will benefit about 1.5 million rural residents in the state

The project, co-financed with the World Bank, aims to improve rural road connectivity and management for residents of about 5,640 villages who use the network for daily activities

The project will improve livelihoods through better farm-to-market connections; More children are expected to enroll in higher education and school attendance is expected to further improve

MP, which is abundant in mineral and forest resources and has immense growth potential in agricultural and industrial production, particularly needs a well-developed road network

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a US$140 million loan for projects to improve rural connectivity in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh (MP ). The funding, which will go into improving livelihoods, education and mobility, will benefit about 1.5 million rural residents in the state. The project, co-financed with the World Bank, aims to improve rural road connectivity and management for residents of about 5,640 villages who use the network for daily activities. Besides upgrading gravel surfaced roads to a sealed surface standard, the project will provide additional linkages to villages with potential for high growth. Beijing-based AIIB is currently involved in four other projects in India.

AIIB Director General of Investment Operations Supee Teravaninthorn said that the project will provide sustainable and safe last-mile connectivity to small villages and improve mobility of the rural population towards sources of vital services and income. He added that the project will stimulate economic development in the entire state and improve livelihoods of the rural population, especially women and girls, through better farm-to-market road connections. Additionally, more children are expected to enroll in higher education programs and school attendance is expected to further improve. The road maintenance pilot under the Project will employ more women, contributing to gender equality and income generation.

Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state in India, in terms of area, and the sixth most populous state with a population of 72.6 million. Adequate infrastructure development promises to augment the State’s ability to accelerate economic growth. In a land-locked state like MP, roads play a critical role in economic growth and development. MP, which is abundant in mineral resources and has growth potential in agricultural and industrial production, particularly needs a well-developed road network. The state is estimated to post gross state domestic product (GSDP) of US$110 billion for the financial year 2017-18. Meanwhile, the state has identified 229 industrial areas to drive its economic transformation.

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