The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of lndia today signed a $346 million loan to finance improvement of over 400 kilometers of state highways that will enhance connectivity and access to economic centers across 12 districts in Kamataka.
The signatories to the loan agreement for the Karnataka State Highways lmprovement lll Project (KSHIP-lll) were Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, who signed on behalf of the Government of lndia, and Mr Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s lndia Resident Mission, who signed for ADB. A separate project agreement was signed by Shri Naveen Raj Singh, Chief Project Officer, PlU, KSHIP, on behalf of Karnataka.
‘State highways provide a crucial link to population and economic centers, and support for the development of the state highway network in Karnataka through this project will promote economic activities and foster inclusiveness” said Mr. Khare after signing the loan agreement.
An ongoing road improvement project financed by ADB with a loan of $315 million is under implementation, which involves upgradation of about 615 kilometers of state roads. “The new loan will continue ADB support to the Government of Karnataka’s state-wide road improvement program, and will also help stabilize and deepen institutional capacity, and improve road safety,’said Mr. Yokoyama. “A key element of the project is the use of hybrid annuity contracts to improve road asset quality and sustainability.”
This KSHIP-lll project will upgrade about 419 kilometers of state highways to two- and four-lane with paved shoulders, and will reconstruct, widen, and strengthen culverts and bridges. The project features the use of hybrid-annuity contracts to increase the participation of the private sector and improve the quality and sustainability of road assets with performance-based maintenance period of 7 years, post-construction.
The project will also carry out a road safety audit to identify and mitigate critical accident blackspots across the state highway network and strengthen the institutional capacity of the Karnataka Public Works, Ports, and lnland Water Transport Department.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in ‘1966, it is owned by 67 members–48 from the region