New Delhi, March 23: Modi Government has an ambitious plan for the improvement of roads in Madhya Pradesh. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $350 million loan for improving about 1,500 kilometers of major district roads in Madhya Pradesh in line with the State’s Road Development Plan.
The loan agreement was signed between Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in Ministry of Finance, Government of India and LB Sondjaja, Deputy Country Director of the Asian Development Bank. Along with ADB’s loan, State Government will provide counterpart support of $150 million. The project will run for almost four years with an expected completion date of March 2021.
After signing the loan agreement, Raj Kumar said that this project would complement the efforts of Government of Madhya Pradesh to bring about seamless road connectivity across the State by linking State Highways and Rural roads through District roads. It would provide an easier access to basic services and markets to people, Kumar added.
Speaking on the occasion, Sondjaja said that ADB’s continued participation in the State’s Road Development, through this project, will help further the state-wide road improvement program, stabilize and deepen institutional capacity, and improve road safety and accident response initiatives. He said that a key element of the project is the use of concrete pavements to ensure better ride quality and reduce lifecycle maintenance costs.
Madhya Pradesh is the second-largest State in the country, with an area of about 308,000 square kilometers and a population of about 73 million. The Project will involve upgrading roads with concrete pavements, strengthening culverts and bridges, and maintaining the improved road assets for a period of five years after construction, on a performance based payment format. The Project will also develop and introduce a cashless accident victim treatment facility in the state, and improve the accident response system.