WASHINGTON, March 14, 2018 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a $210 million loan for the Madhya Pradesh Rural Connectivity Project to improve the durability, resilience and safety of the gravel surfaced rural roads in Madhya Pradesh and enhance the capacity of the state to manage its rural roads network.
The project will cover 10,510 km stretch of rural roads in Madhya Pradesh that fall under the Chief Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (CMGSY) program. Of this 10,000 km will be upgraded from existing gravel to bituminous surface roads, while 510 km of new roads will be built to the same bituminous surface standard.
Gravel surfaced roads are more prone to washouts than paved roads during flood seasons. This project will undertake resilience measures such as surface sealing of roads, embankment pitching, and balancing culverts to prevent damages caused by extreme flood events.
The transport sector is one of the most significant emitters of greenhouse gases. Alternate sealing options for road construction like polymer modified asphalt, asphalt blended with plastic waste, and multiple surface treatment to be piloted on approximately 20 percent of the length will not only be more cost-effective but will also reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector.
This project, will on a pilot basis, engage women self-help groups (SHG) in the post construction maintenance activity. This will involve routine maintenance of off-carriage way parts of the road, while the main carriageway maintenance will remain part of the original contractor’s contract. The SHG members will be trained through the project, and their work will be directly supervised and managed by the Madhya Pradesh Rural Road Development Authority (MPRRDA) field offices. In fact, a direct maintenance contract will be executed between the SHG group and MPRRDA for 3-5 years.
Recognizing that road safety is a critical issue, the project will strengthen road safety management systems with the objective of reducing fatalities and serious injuries from road accidents.
The project will focus on improving road accident data collection and analysis at central and state levels through implementation of the Road Accident Database Management System (RADMS); strengthen road safety capacity at the central level; and focus on training.
The state will pilot a comprehensive Road Safety Program (PCRSP) in districts with most fatal and serious injuries recorded in the recent past. It plans to undertake a bottom-up approach by engaging and empowering local communities to develop customized solutions to improve road safety.
“Construction of sealed roads under the project will help reduce transport costs, improve road safety, minimize post-harvest losses by ensuring transport services in all seasons, reduce pollution and increase access to jobs, schools and health facility for the rural people of Madhya Pradesh. It will implement a range of contracting and institutional reform measures and update standards and specifications, with a particular emphasis on road safety,” said Mesfin Wodajo, Senior Transport Specialist and World Bank’s task team leader for the project.
The loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 25 years.
The CMGSY on the other hand is a state funded scheme focusing on smaller villages that are not covered under PMGSY or any other scheme