Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will provide a $329 million to finance rural road projects in the state of Gujarat. A pact to this effect was signed on Friday.
The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs(DEA) and Dr DJ Pandian, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, AIIB.
On behalf of the Gujarat government, AK Patel, Chief Engineer (Panchayat) and Additional Secretary, Roads & Building Department, signed the agreement.
The objective of the project is to improve the rural road connectivity and accessibility (by providing all weather road connectivity) to 1,060 villages in all the 33 districts in Gujarat state benefiting about 8 million people.
The project will also benefit the service providers such as public transport operators, educational institutions, hospitals, local markets and traders.
The project has two key components — Construction and Up-gradation of Non-Plan Roads and Up-gradation of Planned Roads.
Construction and Up-gradation of Non-Plan Roads (NPRs): A total of 5,000 km of NPRs will be constructed under this component. Besides, it is also envisaged to construct – missing links (last mile connecting to the road network); missing structures (culverts and small bridges); approach roads to educational institutions; and upgrade or construct roads passing through tribal areas.
Up-gradation of Planned Roads: It is envisaged to upgrade existing earthen and metal roads to black top roads, resurfacing of village roads and other district roads, up-gradation of bridges to prevent flooding and subsequent isolation of flooded villages during monsoon season and widening of village roads and other district roads to ease traffic congestion.