The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide $350m (£277m) to rehabilitate and upgrade state highways and district roads in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh.
The loan from ADB will support the state government’s strategy of upgrading two state highways and 23 major district roads totalling 850km in length. As part of the project, selected road stretches will be widened from single or intermediate lane width to two to four lanes.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be $521.7m (£412.5m), of which the government will provide $171.7m (£135.8m) and is expected to be completed by mid-2024.
ADB believes that the improvement to the roads will enhance connectivity and access to basic services, while increasing livelihood opportunities for the people of Chhattisgarh.
ADB Transport Specialist Andri Heriawan said: “Chhattisgarh relies heavily on roads for the movement of people and goods, particularly in rural and semi-urban areas.
“The project will boost access of the poor to socioeconomic opportunities and to basic services such as health care and education, as well as improve the overall quality of life in the influence areas along the roads.”
Across villages and built-up areas, roads will be included with bus stops to be accessible to the elderly, women, children, and persons with disabilities, and street lighting for better security and road safety.
The roads will also include climate adaptation measures in the design, such as increased road embankment height, increased dimension of drainage structures and increased thickness and quality of bitumen.
Previously, ADB had supported the state’s road sector through two loans. The first loan amounted to $150m and included improving about 1,700km of state highways and it was closed in 2012. The second loan of $300m was approved in 2012, was to cover an additional 916km of state highways.