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World Bank, GoI ink pact for $500 million project to develop green, safe highway corridors

World Bank, GoI ink pact for $500 million project to develop green, safe highway corridors

The government inked a $500 million loan pact with the World Bank (WB) to develop safe and green national highway corridors in the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, on Tuesday.

The Green National Highways Corridors project will support the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in constructing 783 km of highways by integrating technology designs such as local and marginal materials, industrial byproducts, and other bioengineering solutions, said a finance ministry statement.

“This project will provide efficient transportation for road users in the four states, connect people with markets and services, promote efficient use of construction materials and water to reduce the depletion of scarce natural resources, and help lower GHG (greenhouse gases) emissions,” said Junaid Ahmad, WB country director for India.

The project will strengthen and widen existing structures by constructing new pavements, drainage facilities and bypasses, improve junctions and introduce road safety features, the ministry said.

In order to ensure that the infrastructure investments are climate resilient, disaster risk assessment of about 5,000 km of the national highway network will also be undertaken under the project along with support to MoRTH for mainstreaming climate resilience aspects in project design and implementation, the statement said.

Apart from these objectives, the statement said the project would also support analytics to map the freight volume and movement pattern on the national highway network, identify constraints, and provide innovative logistics solutions.

The loan comes with a tenor of 18.5 years along with a five year grace period. The agreement was signed by CS Mohapatra, additional secretary, department of economic affairs and Sumila Gulyani, WB acting country director for India.

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