New Delhi: Multi-lateral body Asian Development Bank (ADB) will extend a USD 252 million (over Rs 1367 crore) loan for development of rural roads in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
"The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a USD 252 million loan to continue improving rural roads in the states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal," an official statement said.
The loan amount is the first tranche of USD 800 million financing facility under Rural Connectivity Investment Programme, it added.
This will enable construction of 3,461 kilometres of all-weather rural roads in the five states, benefiting nearly 1,600 rural habitations, it said.
The loan agreement was signed by Nilaya Mitash, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs and Hun Kim, ADB Country Director of India.
"The provision of all-weather roads in rural areas is a crucial investment that will improve access to markets, district headquarters, health and education facilities, and other centres of economic activity," Mitash said.
Project agreements were signed by representatives from Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and respective concerned agencies from the five states.
MoRD is the executing agency for the project at the central level while the respective state rural roads development agencies will be the implementing agencies at the state level.
"The first stage of this loan will invest in physical infrastructure and strengthen institutional arrangements, business processes, road safety and asset management," Kim said.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in December, 2015.
The first tranche from the ordinary capital resources of ADB has a 25-year term including a grace period of 5 years. It has a commitment charge of 0.15 percent per year.
The interest rate has to be determined in accordance with ADB's LIBOR-based lending facility, it said.