Delhi, Nov 20
The Government of India, the Government of Meghalaya and the World Bank signed a $120 million project to improve and modernise the transport sector of state of Meghalaya.
This will help Meghalaya to harness its vast growth potential for high-value agriculture and tourism. The project will improve about 300 km of strategic road segments and stand-alone bridges by using innovative, climate resilient, and nature-based solutions. It will also support innovative solutions such as precast bridges to reduce both time and cost of construction.
Dr. C. S. Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs said that the MITP will help Meghalaya develop reliable, climate resilient and safe roads which is crucial for the economic development of the state and its people as economic growth of any region is closely linked to its road infrastructure.
The loan agreement was signed by Dr. C S Mohapatra on behalf of the Government of India and MrHideki Mori, Operations Manager (India), World Bank on behalf of the World Bank. Whereas, the project agreement was signed by Dr. Vijay Kumar D, Commissioner & Secretary (Planning) on behalf of Government of Meghalaya and MrHideki Mori, Operations Manager (India), World Bank on behalf of the World Bank.
Difficult hilly terrain and extreme climatic conditions make Meghalaya’s transport challenges particularly complex. On account, today, about half of the 5,362 habitations in the state lack transport connectivity.
Mr Mori said this project will tap into Meghalaya’s growth potential in two ways. Within the state, it will provide the much-needed transport connectivity. It will also position Meghalaya as a major connecting hub for international trade through the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and the Nepal Corridor.
This operation will also support state government’s “Restart Meghalaya Mission” to revive and boost development activities affected due to COVID-19 pandemic. It will help restore transport services and generate direct employment of about 8 million person days.
The $120 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a maturity of 14 years including a grace period of 6 years.