World Bank loan for improving Tamil Nadu roads

March 31st, 2010 - 10:49 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 31 (IANS) The World Bank has approved a $50.7 million loan to India for improving quality and sustainability of the road network in Tamil Nadu. Through this, 1,380 km of roads are expected to be improved and another 720 km upgraded to two lanes in the state’s core network.
This funding is additional financing to the Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project, which became effective on Oct 31, 2003, with a loan amount of US$348 million, the Bank announced Tuesday.

The additional loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a 25 year maturity including a 5-year grace period, it said.

“Thus far, the project has improved around 850 km of roads and upgraded 570 km of existing state highways to two lane roads,” said Pratap Tvgssshrk, World Bank transport specialist and project team leader.

“Project performance indicators pertaining to reduction in road accident fatalities, reduction of travel time, and adequate allocation of resources for maintenance have met end-of-project targets.”

The additional financing will help meet a cost overrun, primarily caused by an increase in the prices of construction materials and an appreciation of the Indian Rupee vis-à-vis the Dollar.

In addition, the project will help enhance road safety by improving several accident-prone locations and achieve better management of the network through strengthening of the operational capacity of the Highways Department.

Road transport, accounting for about 80 percent of freight and passenger trips, is the dominant mode of transport in Tamil Nadu. Demand for road transport has increased rapidly with vehicle registrations growing by about 10 percent annually since 2000.

However, infrastructure supply has not kept pace with demand, leading to serious network deficiencies. About 20 percent of the state highways and major district roads are in poor condition.

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