<p>The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has extended loans worth Rs 1,462 cr to the government to fund railways transport services, boost agri-business infrastructure in Bihar and improve road infrastructure in the north-eastern region of the country.
In three separate loan agreements signed between ADB and the government, Rs 750 crore will be used to develop the railway system, Rs 374 crore to improve road connectivity in the north-eastern region and Rs 338 crore will be used to boost agri-business infrastructure in Bihar, an official statement said today.
The Rs 750 crore million loan is for the first tranche of railway sector investment programme aimed at improving rail freight services and passenger transport routes, it said.
The programme will include double-tracking of about 840 kilometre of rail routes and electrifying about 640 kilometre route along with installation of new signaling.
"ADB will also provide a programme-linked technical assistance of Rs 1.65 crore to promote sustainable transport modes by monitoring carbon emission reductions from shifting bulk goods from road to rail," it said.
The loan to improve road connectivity in north-eastern region will be used to improve and upgrade 434 kilometres of road in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura. The project is expected to be completed by 2016, it said.
Meanwhile, a Rs 338 crore loan -- the first tranche of the Rs 850 crore multi-tranche financing -- will improve physical and institutional links to support agriculture in Bihar, it said.
"The loan will help expand agricultural value chains and facilitate better linkages for small scale farmers with processors, agribusiness entrepreneurs, and service providers in Muzaffarpur and Patna-Nalanda regions of Bihar," said the ADB statement.
This will help farmers, traders and other value chain stakeholders to improve their products and processes, become competitive and adapt to changes in end markets, it said.