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ADB okays $346 mn loan for road improvement in Karnataka


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Asian Development Bank (ADB) today said it has approved USD 346 million loan to finance road improvement across a dozen districts in Karnataka.
ADB and the Government of India today signed a USD 346 million loan agreement to finance improvement of over 400 kilometers of state highways that will enhance connectivity and access to economic centres across 12 districts in Karnataka, ADB said in statement.
The loan agreement for the Karnataka State Highways Improvement III Project (KSHIP-III) was inked between Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary in the Finance Ministry and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB's India Resident Mission.
"Karnataka needs substantial infrastructure investments to sustain high economic growth and meet its development needs," Khare said.
State highways are a key link to population and economic centres and continued development of the state highway network in Karnataka will foster inclusiveness and sustain economic activities, Khare added.
ADB said an ongoing road improvement project financed by it with a loan of USD 315 million is upgrading about 615 kilometres of state roads.
"The new loan will continue ADB support to the government of Karnataka's state-wide road improvement programme and will also help stabilise and deepen institutional capacity and improve road safety," Yokoyama said.
A key element of the project is the use of hybrid annuity contracts to improve road asset and sustainability, he said.
Under KSHIP-III, about 419 kilometres of state highways will be upgraded to two and four lane roads with paved shoulders as well as reconstruction, widening and strengthening of culverts and bridges.
The project features use of hybrid-annuity contracts to increase participation of private sector and improve quality and sustainibility of road assets with performance based maintenance period of 7 years post construction.
A road safety audit will be conducted under the project to identify and mitigate critical accident blackspots across the state highway network and strengthen the institutional capacity of Karnataka public works, ports and inland water transport department, ADB said.

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First Published: Aug 30 2018 | 7:50 PM IST

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