||The principal objectives of the proposed Project are to facilitate growth and reduce poverty in the southern part of Sichuan Province by relieving traffic congestion and improving access in the project area. The proposed Project will (i) alleviate congestion and reduce traffic accidents and vehicle operating costs, (ii) improve an important access between Chengdu and Kunming by providing a vital expressway link in the Gansu-Yunnan trunk road, one of the eight Western Region Corridors, (iii) provide additional transport capacity in the region to accommodate traffic growth arising from economic growth and the shift to more flexible road-based transport, and (iv) provide improved access for the poor rural population in the transport corridor. The proposed project will also support reforms relating to poverty reduction, road safety and vehicle emissions, and corporate governance. The Project scope includes: (i) construction of a 160 km of four-lane access-controlled toll expressway, including access roads, interchanges with toll stations, tunnels, bridges, administrative stations, and service areas; (ii) upgrading of about 558 km of county and township roads to improve access to poor and minority areas; (iii) procurement of equipment for road maintenance, toll collection, surveillance and communications, vehicle weigh stations, road safety, and office administration; (iv) land acquisition and resettlement; and (v) consulting services for construction supervision, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity building.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Despite the considerable investments in the road sector, the PRC road network is still inadequate, and does not provide efficient transport access to large parts of the country, particularly in the poorer inland regions, including Sichuan Province. Better transport links are necessary to improve economic efficiency, foster domestic and international trade, facilitate interregional integration, and reduce poverty. Western PRC lacks high-class road infrastructure in and out of the region, and between and within provinces in the region. The road network must be developed to facilitate sustainable economic development and reach the impact of investments to poor areas and rural residents in the hinterlands, thus spreading economic and social benefits widely. To enhance economic development and reduce poverty in the western part of the PRC (where most of PRC's poor reside), the Government adopted the long-term Western Regional Development Strategy, which is the key theme of the 10th Five Year Plan. The strategy aims to reduce development disparities between the western region and the coastal region, protect the environment, and improve natural resource management. The road sector forms an important part of the strategy, as it is recognized that roads provide a vital link between the western and coastal regions. The proposed Project will support the strategy by building part of the eight Western Region Corridors and improve the access of Chengdu and other cities in the poor western region.
To enhance economic development and reduce poverty in the western part of the PRC, the Government adopted the long-term Western Region Development Strategy, which is the key theme of the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2001 2005). The strategy aims to reduce development disparities between the western and coastal
regions. The road sector forms an important part of the strategy, as it provides a vital link between these two regions. The Project will support the strategy by building part of the western region route in Sichuan Province and will improve the access of the southern part of Sichuan Province.