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AIIB to invest $140 mn on rural connectivity in MP

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a $140 million loan for enhancing rural connectivity in Madhya Pradesh which will benefit around 1.5 million rural residents through improved livelihood, education and mobility, the government said on Thursday.

The project, co-financed with the World Bank, aims to improve the rural road connectivity and management for residents of about 5,640 villages who use the rural roads for daily activities.

"Livelihood of the rural population will be improved by expanding income earning opportunities through better farm-to-market road connections. Moreover, more children are expected to enrol in higher education programmes and school attendance is expected to further improve," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

"The road maintenance pilot under the project will employ more women, contributing to gender equality and income generation," it added.

AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer D.J. Pandian said that promoting sustainable growth in India through investment in rural infrastructure will require substantial financing.

"I am glad that AIIB's participation in this project will contribute to reducing this financing gap and enhance overall development in the region," he said.

The planned activities under the project include upgrading the gravel surface roads to a sealed surface standard, providing additional linkages to villages with potential for high growth and enhancing institutional capacity.

--IANS

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