World Bank to lend additional $500 mn for rural roads

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New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) India on Friday signed a $500 million loan agreement with the World Bank for additional financing for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Rural Roads Project to build 7,000 km of climate resilient roads.

The World Bank has supported PMGSY since its inception in 2004 and has so far invested over $1.8 billion in loans and credits mostly in the economically weaker and hill states across north India.

The $500 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a three-year grace period and a maturity of 10 years, an official statement said.

“The additional finance will bring a new shift in construction technology using green and low carbon designs and climate resilient construction techniques.

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“Now more rural communities will have access to better economic opportunities and social services,” Joint Secretary at Department of Economic Affairs Sameer Kumar Khare said after signing the loan agreement.

Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India, said: “To support the rural economy and communities and households that depend on rural livelihoods, it will be critical to ensure that infrastructure is built and maintained to withstand climatic changes.

“This project will demonstrate how climate resilient construction can be integrated in the strategy and planning of rural roads.”

–IANS

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