Asian Development Bank grants Rs 900 to rural Bengal

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to grant Rs 900 crore to West Bengal for the upgrade and development of rural roads. The state government is set to use the money for upgrading all rural roads in Bengal.

The ADB has approved a loan of $800 million (Rs 4,000 crore) to India under the multi-tranche financing facility to India for the rural connectivity investment programme. Under the programme, about 9,000 kilometre of all-weather roads will be constructed in five states of the country that include Assam, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. The project aims to connect about connecting about 4,200 habitations.

The ADB took this decision was taken by the ADB earlier this month and early this month and the Bengal government received a letter from the bank on July 12. According to the letter, the investment programme aims to pilot the use of latest construction technologies and make increased use of local materials. The ADB has approved the funds after having chalked out a long-term impact of the investment programme. The primary initiative is to will be reduce poverty and deprivation and bring about inclusive economic growth in the five states.

The ADB took this decision early this month and the Bengal government received a letter from ADB on July 12.

Though the rural roads come under the purview belong to the jurisdiction of the panchayat and rural development department, chief minister Mamata Banerjee has already immediately instructed the state PWD to cater to the matter with utmost importance.
According to preliminary estimates, the state has about 1,800 kilometre of rural roads, including combining all the rural roads of the districts. The bank will sent the entire grant of Rs 4,000 crore to the Centre. The latter will then hand over the stipulated Rs 900 crore to the state government. state will receive the money from the centre which will get the entire fund of Rs 4000 crore from ADB as loan.
Apart from the rural roads, RITES is doing a survey of five state highways running through the districts. These five state highways include SH-2, SH-3, SH-4, SH-5 and SH-12A. The estimated stretch has a having a total length of 1079 kilometres and will be upgraded soon under a separate project.

These state highways mainly cover places mainly of the three Maoist-infested districts of Bankura, Purulia, West Midnapore and also in some places of Hooghly, Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri and Burdwan. The PWD had earlier received Rs 1,400 crore under the Backward Region Grants Fund (BRGF) which could be divided among the 11 backward districtsof the state.

Total loan approved by Asian Development Bank for five states of the country – Rs 4,000 crore.

The beneficiary states – Assam, Chattisgarh, Madhyapradesh, Orissa and West Bengal

Total rural road network in the five states – 9,000 kilometer

West Bengal could get about Rs 900 crore

Rural road network – 1800 kilometer approx

PWD to prepare detail project report in consultation with district planning committees.

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