The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Indian government signed a £1.57 million loan on Monday (1) to finance continued improvements to road connectivity and efficiency of the International Trade Corridor in West Bengal and north-eastern region of India.
The signatories to the Tranche 2 Loan Agreement for the £5.25m South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation Road Connectivity lnvestment Program were additional secretary Sameer Kumar Khare, the ministry of finance and Kenichi Yokoyama, country director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, said India’s ministry of finance in a statement.
Approved in 2014, the program aims to expand about 500 kilometers of roads in India’s north Bengal and north-eastern region that will enable efficient and safe transport within India and regionally with other SASEC member countries.
After signing the loan agreement, Khare said that the program is an important initiative in regional connectivity aimed at increasing domestic and regional trade through North Bengal-north east Region International Trade corridor by upgrading key roads. He said that it will give a boost to India’s efforts to promote regional connectivity in South Asia.
Speaking on the occasion, Yokoyama noted that the new loan will help up-gradation of key national and state highways in Manipur and construct an important international bridge for crucial last-mile connectivity between in-country trunk road network and neighbouring countries.
The Tranche 2 Project will upgrade about 65 kilometers of lmphal-Moreh section of national highway in Manipur, construction of about 1.5 km of an international bridge between India and Nepal, and completion of about 103 km of a state highway in Manipur between Imphal and Tamenglong under Project-I. The project will reduce transaction costs along the targeted cross-border corridors substantially, creating economies of scale and commercial prosperity.