India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday signed a $110 million loan agreement to upgrade all-weather rural roads in Madhya Pradesh under the Prime Minister's Rural Roads Programme (PMGSY).
The $110 million is the second tranche of the $500 million Second Rural Connectivity Investment Programme for India approved by the multilateral lending agency in December 2017, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The agreement was signed by Ministry of Finance Additional Secretary Sameer Kumar Khare for the Indian government and ADB's India Resident Mission Country Director Kenichi Yokoyama for the bank.
"The Tranche 2 of the project will provide continued assistance to the PMGSY by upgrading rural roads in Madhya Pradesh that will support the government's long term goal to achieve inclusive economic growth in rural India," Mr Khare said.
ln view of increased rainfall and storm surges in Madhya Pradesh, the road designs take into account these climate risks with measures such as greater elevation of road embankments and slope protection, the statement said.
Women were extensively consulted during the project design and will gain some key benefits, including improved access to healthcare, livelihoods and schooling, it added.
"The loan will improve mobility for self-employment and livelihood opportunities in rural areas by improving access to district centres. The project will continue to support the government's drive for innovative approaches to reduce costs, conserve non-renewable natural resources and promote the use of waste materials in rural road construction," Yokoyama said.
The overall Second Rural Connectivity Investment Programme is aimed at improving rural connectivity, safe and efficient access to livelihood and socio-economic opportunities for communities in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.
It plans to upgrade about 12,000 km rural roads across the five states. Tranche 1 loan of $250 million is currently under implementation upgrading over 6,000 km roads.
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