New Delhi -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged investments of $550 million to upgrade rural roads in Uttaranchal through a 10-year programme.
"More than 90 percent of intra and intercity freight and passenger traffic in Uttaranchal moves by road. Yet, nearly one third of the state's main roads and almost three quarters of the other district and village roads need to be repaired or upgraded," the Manila-based agency said in a statement Friday.
To address these deficiencies and spread the benefits of growth more evenly, Uttaranchal has drafted a Road Development Plan that will cost an estimated $1.2 billion over 10 years.
"The ADB investment programme would finance part of the plan, rehabilitating a total of about 10,800 km of state roads - or about two thirds of public works department's (PWD) network," the multilateral body said.
The ADB funding will be made available through a multi-tranche financing facility, from which separate loans can be drawn to a total of $550 million over 10 years.
The first loan for $50 million will improve 570 km of roads in the state and initiate a reengineering of PWD's business processes.
"The roads to be improved are spread over all 13 districts of the state and will be accessible to about 3.5 million people living in nearby villages," said Prianka Seneviratne, ADB team leader for the project.
"Over time, they will benefit from a gradual speeding up of travel time, an easing of vehicle operating costs, and creation of hundreds of thousands of hours of labour work."