India, ADB sign USD 346 million loan agreement to upgrade the standards of state highways in Karnataka

India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $346 million loan agreement to finance upgrading of over 400 kilometres of state highways that comes under the Karnataka State Highways improvement lll Project.

This loan agreement has been signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB) in the Department of Economic Affairs, Union Ministry of Finance, and Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission. Mr. Khare after signing the loan agreement, said “The outcome of this agreement that one could expect is the improvement in the connectivity and easy access to different economic centres across 12 districts in Karnataka. Adding to that state highways are going to turn out to be the vital link to economic centres, local population and also expected to encourage economic activities.”

On this occasion, Mr. Yokoyama, said “The new loan will continue ADB support to the Government of Karnataka’s state-wide road improvement program, and could also assist in the proper stabilization of the institutional capacity, and develop better road safety.”

This KSHIP-lll project aim to enhance the connectivity of 419 kilometres of state highways to two- and four-lane with paved shoulders. During this project, there will be reconstruct, widening, and improvement in the strength of tunnels and bridges.

The most remarkable aspect of this (KSHIP-lll) Project is the usage of hybrid annuity contracts that would ultimately result in the increase of the contribution from private sector. Adding to that there will also be advancement in the quality of road assets with performance-based maintenance period that will last for 7 years after the completion of the construction operation.

The project will also conduct a road safety audit with an aim to recognize and lessen critical accident key locations or accident prone areas through the state highway network. Apart from all these, the (KSHIP-lll) Project will further strengthen the institutional capacity of the Karnataka Public Works, Ports, and lnland Water Transport Department.