World Bank funding to improve roads

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Shimla:To improve, maintain and manage about 2500 kilometer length of state highways and other major roads, Himachal Pradesh has secured $ 303.43 million loan from the World Bank that would need to be paid back in a twenty year time frame.

The government has prepared the ‘HP State Roads Project’ which has got financial assistance from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) for improvement of the core road network, said an official spokesman.

The total project is worth Rs 1365.435 crore of which Rs 990 crore is the bank loan component. Ninety percent of the loan will be made available by way of grant from the central government, he said.

The project is to be implemented by December 2012 and would comprise of two distinct parts, with the first being improving the core network. This relates to upgrading a 447 kilometer road network by widening the formations, realignment where necessary, new structures and pavement strengthening.

The second component relates to maintenance and management of the core network. It also includes periodic maintenance and minor rehabilitation of about 2000 km of the core road network, in accordance with the agreed environmental measures, said the spokesman.

The development objective of the project is to have positive social impacts in terms of reducing transportation cost and improving traffic flows on priority segments of the core road network, he said adding that it would help in boosting the agricultural based economy. The indicators to measure performance in achieving the developmental objectives would be condition, speed, fatal accident rate and level of road user satisfaction, he added.

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