The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) and the government on Wednesday (September 8) signed a loan of $ 300 million as additional financing to accelerate the improvement of rural connectivity to stimulate the rural economy in Maharashtra.
Additional funding for the ongoing Maharashtra Rural Connectivity Improvement Project will improve 1,100 additional rural roads and 230 bridges for a total length of 2,900 km in 34 districts.
The ongoing project with funding of $ 200 million, approved in August 2019, is already improving and maintaining the condition and safety of 2,100 km of rural roads across Maharashtra, the Ministry of Finance. noted in a press release.
The signatories of the loan agreement were Rajat Kumar Mishra, Deputy Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Takeo Konishi, Country Director of the AfDB Resident Mission in India.
“With the additional funding, the overall project will improve the condition and safety of 5,000 km of rural roads and over 200 bridges connecting rural communities to productive agricultural areas and socio-economic centers in Maharashtra,” Mishra said. after signing the loan agreement.
“Improving connectivity through climate-resilient, all-season rural roads will help accelerate Maharashtra’s economic recovery from the shock of COVID-19 by generating rural jobs and transforming agriculture,” Konishi said.
The new project is expected to generate around 3.1 million person-days of employment for local communities, of which at least 25 percent are for women, during periods of construction and maintenance. A gender equality action plan has been prepared to focus on developing the capacities of women workers so that they can benefit from semi-skilled and unskilled work opportunities.
This additional funding will rebuild and rehabilitate Maharashtra’s roads and bridges destroyed by the devastating floods of August 2019. The design incorporates flood and climate resilience measures, a pilot test of the use of environmentally friendly materials. environment on selected road segments, the use of mobile mapping technology to monitor project roads and use new technologies such as fiber-reinforced concrete and precast concrete arch bridge, the statement said.