The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $484 million loan (over Rs 3,500 crore) to improve transport connectivity and facilitate industrial development in the Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in Tamil Nadu.
The Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor is part of India's East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), which stretches from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu and connects India to the production networks of South, Southeast, and East Asia. The Asian Development Bank is the lead partner of the Indian government in developing the East Coast Economic Corridor.
With regard to the loan, an agreement has been signed between the bank and the government, an official release on Wednesday.
The funding will be used for a project to upgrade about 590 kilometers of state highways in the Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor influence areas, covering 23 of the 32 districts between Chennai and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
Enhanced connectivity of industrial hubs with hinterland and ports will particularly help increase the participation of Indian manufacturing in global production networks and global value chains, thereby creating jobs along the corridor, the release said.
"In line with Strategy 2030, ADB''s long-term corporate strategy, the project emphasises sustainability, climate change resilience, and road safety elements," it said.
Seven-year contracts are provided for long-term maintenance of road projects. Climate change adaptation measures will be incorporated in highway upgrades.
The project will also strengthen road safety improvement programmes through advanced technologies for road monitoring and enforcement. In addition, it will help improve the planning capacity of Tamil Nadu's Highways and Minor Ports Department, the Asian Development Bank said.