Asian Development Bank (ADB) will fund highway upgradation project in Karnataka for which it has approved a loan of USD 346 million, ADB said today. It said the Board of Directors has approved the loan to improve 419 km of state highways by upgrading them to two and four-lane with paved shoulders and improving culverts and bridges. The project will carry out a road safety survey to identify critical accident spots across the state highways and carry out measures to improve these, it said. This is ADB’s second funding to Karnakata, whose per capita income is higher than the national average and has lower unemployment and poverty rates.
The project will see the construction of planned pedestrian, installation of women-friendly elements including bus shelters, marked crossings, footpaths and proper signage, among others. Total cost of the project is USD 655 million. Of this, the state government will provide USD 202 million and the private sector will invest an estimated USD 107 million through hybrid annuity contracts. It is due for completion by 2023. “In line with state policy which recognises road development as an engine of growth, the Karnataka State Highways Improvement III Project will improve road capacity and maintenance, promote safer roads, and increase access to markets and basic services,” said Ravi Peri, an ADB Principal Transport Specialist. An efficient road network linking villages, towns, and cities will provide stronger links between remote, poor regions and more developed markets and urban hubs, ADB said.