MANILA, PHILIPPINES (2 December 2022) —The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $300 million loan to upgrade more than 300 kilometers of state highways and major district roads in Assam, including six road sections in the state’s western, central, and southern regions.

“Reduced travel time and costs will improve the mobility and accessibility of people in the less developed areas of Assam and provide a vital link to markets, jobs, social services, education, and health facilities,” said ADB Principal Transport Specialist for South Asia Yasushi Tanaka. “Improved connectivity and safe road networks will spur growth within the state and contribute to its potential as a growth catalyst for the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) region.”

The project will expand state highways and major district roads from single lane to two lanes and introduce new climate- and disaster-resilient structures. It will establish pedestrian and public transport facilities, elevate highways in flood-prone areas, and include landslide prevention structures in hilly and mountainous areas.

The roads to be upgraded under this project are connected to SASEC corridors and borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh, and are expected to boost cross-border trade and transport. The project will complement the multimodal logistics park being built in Jogighopa and a future one in Silchar to serve road, rail, inland waterway, and air transport facilities.

Community schools, water, health, and sanitation facilities, and heritage and tourism sites will be restored in affected indigenous peoples’ villages. To protect wildlife and habitats in project areas, viaduct structures will be constructed to avoid human–elephant conflict in the elephant habitats. In addition, community road users, drivers, motorcycle riders, school teachers, and students will be informed and trained on road safety.

The project will strengthen the capacity of the Assam Public Works (Roads) Department in managing road assets, integrating climate and disaster resilience in road projects, and ensuring safeguards—such as environment, resettlement, and indigenous peoples concerns—are considered.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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