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Bihar gets $300m Asian Development Bank loan to upgrade highways



Updated On - Monday, 26 August 2013

14 August 2013

PATNA: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Centre signed an agreement in New Delhi on Monday for US $300 million additional loan to upgrade 254 kilometres of deteriorated highways in northern and southern Bihar.

The additional financing for the ongoing Bihar State Highways-II Project will widen the sections of existing four highways to two lanes, build and maintain bridges and repair the pavements. It will optimize access to the state highway network for the beneficiaries living in remote villages.

The loan agreement was signed by Nilaya Mitash, joint secretary (multilateral institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Centre, and Narhari Rao, deputy country director for India, on behalf of ADB. The project agreement was signed by Sunil Barthwal, resident commissioner of Bihar and Ranjit Kumar Mishra, DGM (tech), Bihar State Road Development Corporation Ltd.

"Better roads built under the project will help more people access social and health services as well as production centres and markets and, therefore, will promote better life and inclusive growth for the people of Bihar," Mitash said.

"This project will also use a $1 million grant to prepare a 20-year road master plan for Bihar state," said Rao. "It will help the national and state governments achieve their vision of improving the lives of people by providing an efficient transport system," he said.

The ADB has supported Bihar's State Highway Development Programme through assistance to Bihar State Highways Project-I ($420 million, closed in July, 2012) followed by Project-II ($300 million, signed in December, 2010). Together, the projects are reconstructing 1,209km of state highways.

"The project will also focus on improving the road design that will help address the problem of floods. To offset carbon emissions, 10 saplings will be planted for every tree cut for widening of roads. Solar panels will be used at construction sites to reduce carbon emissions. Those living near the roads will also receive road safety training. Women will be actively involved in the programme," a state government official said on Tuesday.

Published by: The Times Of India

 

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