The Indian government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a 300 million dollar loan as additional financing to scale up the improvement of rural connectivity to help boost the rural economy in Maharashtra. The additional financing for the ongoing Maharashtra Rural Connectivity Improvement Project will help improve an additional 1,100 rural roads and 230 bridges for a total length of 2,900 kilometres in 34 districts.
The ongoing project with 200 million dollar financing, approved in August 2019, is already improving and maintaining the condition and safety of 2,100 kilometres of rural roads. The signatories to the loan agreement were Additional Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Rajat Kumar Mishra and Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, Takeo Konishi.
Ministry of Finance said, with the additional financing, the overall project will improve the condition and safety of five thousand kilometres of rural roads and over 200 bridges connecting rural communities. The Ministry said the new project is expected to generate about 3.1 million person-days of employment for local communities, of which at least 25 per cent will be for women, over the construction and maintenance period. It said a gender action plan has been prepared to focus on the capacity development of women workers so that they can benefit from the semiskilled and unskilled labour opportunities.