ADB and India sign $300m loan to improve rural connectivity in Maharashtra

The new project is expected to generate about 3.1 million person-days of employment for local communities, of which at least 25% will be for women, over the construction and maintenance periods.


ADB | New Delhi | Updated: 08-09-2021 16:39 IST | Created: 08-09-2021 16:39 IST
ADB and India sign $300m loan to improve rural connectivity in Maharashtra
“Improved connectivity through climate-resilient, all-weather rural roads will help accelerate Maharashtra’s economic recovery from COVID-19 shock by generating rural employment and transforming agriculture,” said Mr Konishi. Image Credit: ANI
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a $300 million loan as additional financing to scale up the improvement of rural connectivity to help boost the rural economy in the state of Maharashtra.

The additional financing for the ongoing Maharashtra Rural Connectivity Improvement Project will help improve an additional 1,100 rural roads and 230 bridges for a total length of 2,900 kilometres (km) in 34 districts. The ongoing project with $200 million financings, approved in August 2019, is already enhancing and maintaining the condition and safety of 2,100 km of rural roads across Maharashtra.

The signatories to the loan agreement were the Ministry of Finance's Department of Economic Affairs Additional Secretary Rajat Kumar Mishra, who signed for the Government of India, and ADB Country Director for India Takeo Konishi, who signed for ADB.

"With the additional financing, the overall project will improve the condition and safety of 5,000 km of rural roads and over 200 bridges connecting rural communities with productive agricultural areas and socioeconomic centres in Maharashtra," said Mr Mishra after signing the loan agreement.

"Improved connectivity through climate-resilient, all-weather rural roads will help accelerate Maharashtra's economic recovery from COVID-19 shock by generating rural employment and transforming agriculture," said Mr Konishi.

The new project is expected to generate about 3.1 million person-days of employment for local communities, of which at least 25% will be for women, over the construction and maintenance periods. A gender action plan has been prepared to focus on the capacity development of women workers so that they can benefit from the semiskilled and unskilled labour opportunities.

This additional financing will rebuild and rehabilitate roads and bridges in Maharashtra destroyed by the devastating floods in August 2019. The design incorporates flood and climate resilience measures, pilot testing the use of environment-friendly materials on selected road segments, use of mobile mapping technology to monitor the project roads, and use of new technologies such as fibre-reinforced concrete and precast concrete arch bridge.

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