India signs $150 million ADB loan to improve regional connectivity

The Government of India on Monday signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a $150 million loan to finance continued improvements to road connectivity and efficiency of the International Trade Corridor in West Bengal and North-Eastern Region of lndia. 

This the second tranche of the loan agreement for the $500 million South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation Road Connectivity lnvestment Programme.
Approved in 2014, the program aims to expand about 500 kilometers of roads in lndia's North Bengal and North-Eastern Region that will enable efficient and safe transport within lndia and regionally with other SASEC member countries.
The project agreement was also signed by the state of Manipur and the National Highways and lnfrastructure Development Corporation Limited.
The programme is an important initiative in regional connectivity aimed at increasing domestic and regional trade through North Bengal-North East Region International Trade corridor by upgrading key roads. This will give a boost to lndia's efforts to promote regional connectivity in the South Asia.
Speaking on the occasion, ADB’s Yokoyama said the new loan will help up-gradation of key national and state highways in Manipur and construct an important international bridge for crucial last-mile connectivity between in-country trunk road network and neighbouring countries.
The project will upgrade about 65 kilometers of lmphal-Moreh Section of National Highway in Manipur, construct about 1.5 km of an international bridge between lndia and Nepal, and complete about 103 km of a state highway in Manipur between lmphal and Tamenglong under Project-I. The project will reduce transportation and transaction costs along the targeted cross-border corridors substantially, creating economies of scale and commercial prosperity.