World Bank, GoI ink pact for US$ 500 million project to develop green, safe highway corridors.

Pushing further towards India’s green initiative, the government inked a US$ 500 million loan pact with the World Bank to develop safe and green national highway corridors in 4 states.

December 23, 2020

The Government of India and the World Bank signed an agreement of US$ 500 million to develop green national highways in 4 states.

This will entail construction of 783 kms by integrating technology designs, industry by-products and bioengineering materials.

This project aims to provide efficient transportation and use of construction materials to save natural resources and lower any GHG.

It will strengthen the existing structures, and construct new pavements, improve drainage facilities and road safety features.

With an objective of seamless connectivity and reduction in logistics cost, the Government of India, with the support of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) recently signed a US$ 500 million loan pact with the World Bank to develop safe green highway corridors for the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.  Signatories present for this agreement were CS Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Sumila Gulyani, World Bank acting country director for India. The loan entails a tenor of 18.5 years and a 5-year grace period. This Green National Highways Corridors Project will entail the construction of 783kms of highways by integrating technology designs such as local and marginal materials, industrial by-products and other bioengineering materials. This highway project will provide efficient transportation to people in these four states, connect people and markets, and promote efficient use of construction materials and water to reduce the depletion of scarce natural resources and help lower greenhouse emissions (GHG). 

To improve and strengthen the logistics performance, there have been several investments in the road sector infrastructure. These several infrastructure projects have provided immense employment opportunities, especially to women. This particular project supports the ministry’s aim regarding gender-related issues and helps in creating jobs for women by training women-led micro enterprises and women collectives to implement green technologies in the highway corridors. 

Connectivity is a key element, where any nation’s economic growth and sustainable development is concerned. Around 40% of road traffic is carried by the National Highways of India. There are parts in these highways, that have inadequate capacity, weak drainage systems, and accident-prone spots. Projects such as these, will not only strengthen and expand the existing structures, but will also construct new pavements, improve drainage facilities, junctions, and road safety features. To ensure that the investments and construction in road infrastructure be resilient to climate change, disaster risk assessment of about 5,000 km of the National Highway network will also be done in project design and implementation.