MANILA, PHILIPPINES (3 November 2022) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $350 million loan to improve the connectivity of key economic areas in Maharashtra, India.  

The Connecting Economic Clusters for Inclusive Growth in Maharashtra project will further develop the state’s core road network in the Ahmednagar, Hingoli, Jalna, Kohalpur, Nagur, Nanded, Nashik, Pune, Sangli, and Satara districts. It will help connect underdeveloped rural communities with off-farm opportunities and markets, improve access to health and social services and improve agricultural value chains by reducing transport costs for small and medium-sized enterprises. It will build on the Maharashtra State Road Improvement Project approved by ADB in April 2020 to upgrade state highways and major district roads.

“This project is in line with the Government of Maharashtra’s Vision 2030 strategic plan to achieve a sustainable, balanced, and all-inclusive growth. It expands ADB’s support to the state in improving rural connectivity and addressing income disparity,” said ADB Senior Transport Specialist for South Asia Kirsty Rowan Marcus. “This project will continue ADB’s strong partnership in Maharashtra and demonstrate approaches and practices that are not yet common practice, including road safety demonstration corridors; climate change adaptation and disaster-risk reduction; and highway works programs responsive to the needs of women, children, the elderly, and people with disability.”

The project will upgrade at least 319 kilometers (km) of state highways and 149 km of district roads incorporating climate and disaster-resilient features. It will also construct 5 km of major district roads connecting Nanded and Telangana. The project will promote gender equality and social inclusion in highway programs, schools, health, and social services and set up integrated service centers to provide basic sanitation, education, and other services. Skills training for enterprises led by poor women and disadvantaged groups will be conducted to provide livelihood opportunities.

Project monitoring, road safety, and maintenance will be strengthened. The project will demonstrate the private sector’s effectiveness in undertaking long-term road maintenance for greater life-cycle quality and operational efficiency. It will also develop a good practice handbook for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in road design and maintenance.

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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