New Delhi, October 11, 2019 – The Government of India, Government of Uttar Pradesh and the World Bank today signed a $400 million loan agreement to help the state of Uttar Pradesh strengthen, upgrade and maintain about 500 kms of the state’s core road network of state highways, including measures to reduce crashes and fatalities.
The Uttar Pradesh Core Road Network Development Project will help the state’s Public Works Department (PWD) to design and build green highways which are resilient to the effects of climate change. It will also strengthen the PWD’s capacity to identify issues on road safety, improve traffic flows and reduce fatalities on congested district and state highways.
Employment opportunities for women are expected to increase as all civil works contracts drawn-up under the project will require contractors to hire females for at least 30 percent of the routine maintenance works.
Contractors will be encouraged to recycle and use local materials in construction, grow plantations along the corridor, practice soil and water conservation and use energy-efficient lighting.
“Infrastructure development, and in particular roads, is a priority for the Government of India,” said Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. "The UP-Core Road Network Project will help Uttar Pradesh develop an efficient road network which will help integrate the less developed regions in the state and accelerate agricultural and industrial growth.”
The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, on behalf of the Government of India; Girijesh Kumar Tyagi, Special Secretary, PWD, on behalf of the Government of Uttar Pradesh; and Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, India on behalf of the World Bank.
Uttar Pradesh (UP) is one of the largest states in India, with a population of nearly 220 million and an average GDP growth rate of 6.5 percent over the last decade. Even though rural connectivity has been improving in the state, the condition of the state highways and major district roads, which link the rural road network and the national highways, has not improved at the same pace. Further, there were more than 20,000 traffic-related deaths in the state in 2017, an increase of 23.5 percent from 2014.
“Building safe and efficient core road infrastructure is critical for economic growth” said Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank. “This will strengthen the state’s human capital through better access to health, education and employment opportunities that will help alleviate poverty.”
The project will support training and capacity building for PWD staff on asset management, contract management, social and environmental safeguards, road safety and climate resilient road designs through domestic training courses, workshops and knowledge exchange visits.
It will build capacity of the agencies responsible for road safety within the state to develop accident data management systems, strengthen the road safety cell and help establish a highway police for the first time in the state. Targeted interventions to change road users’ behavior will be used to achieve visible and measurable reductions in traffic fatalities. This will be facilitated through improved police enforcement and social marketing measures on high-risk national and state highways.
“There is a pressing need to strengthen road safety leadership, policy and coordination arrangements in the state”, said Elena Chesheva and Sanjeev Moholkar, Task Team Leaders, World Bank. “The project puts special focus on road safety and aims to reduce fatalities and improve road safety performance in the state by implementing results-focused interventions.”
The $400 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 6-year grace period, and a final maturity of 24 years.
Last Updated: Oct 16, 2019