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300M US Dollars Additional ADB Financing to help Upgrade 254 km of State Highways in Bihar

Aug 13, 2013 12:23 IST

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of India on 12 August 2013 signed an agreement for 300 million US dollars in additional loan to upgrade 254 kilometers of severely deteriorated highways in northern and southern Bihar. The additional financing for the Bihar State Highways-II Project, which is already under implementation, will widen existing sections of four highways to two lanes, build and maintain bridges, and strengthen pavement. This should optimize access to the state highway network for beneficiaries living in remote villages.

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.

This project will also use a 1 million US dollars grant to prepare a 20-year road master plan for Bihar state. This should help the national and state governments achieve their vision of improving the lives of its people by providing an efficient transport system.

ADB has supported Bihar’s State Highway Development Program through assistance to Bihar State Highways Project-I (420 million US dollars, closed in July, 2012) followed by Project-II (300 million US dollars, signed in December, 2010). Together the projects are rehabilitating 1209 km of state highways.

The project will also focus on improving the road design that will help address future flooding. To offset carbon emissions, the project will plant 10 trees for every individual tree cut for road widening. Solar panels will be used at construction sites to sequester carbon and reduce carbon emissions.Those living near the roads will also receive road safety training. Women will be actively involved.The total cost of the project – due to be completed by October, 2017 – is 375 million US dollars, with the Government of Bihar providing75 million US dollars.

TA 8170-IND: Road Master Plan for Bihar’s State Highway Development is associated to this project. The TA will support the state government’s sector development initiatives, especially for preparing of a 20-year strategic master plan for developing Bihar’s state highways, including long-term vision and goals, an action program, a financing plan, and a monitoring and evaluation system with performance indicators and targets. The TA is closing in December, 2014.

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