India, Asian Development Bank Sign Agreement To Boost Road Connectivity In SikkimSikkim’s Capital Gangtok (Pic Via Wikipedia)

To improve connectivity to essential towns, rural areas, and pilgrimage and tourist destinations in Sikkim, the Asian Development Bank and the Government of India on Thursday (3 June) signed a $2.5 million project readiness financing (PRF) loan to support project preparation and design activities to upgrade significant district roads in the state.

The PRF will support the state government’s priority in improving road connectivity in the hill state by planning and designing major districts and other roads and bridges that will help boost the state’s economy and improve accessibility for people in remote villages.

“The PRF project aims to ensure implementation readiness through feasibility studies, preparing detailed engineering designs of selected subprojects and building capacity of state agencies so that the ensuing project gets completed in a timely manner,” said Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.

“It will also help incorporate elements of road safety, maintenance, and climate adaptation and mitigation in the ensuing project for long-term sustainability of created assets,” Mr Konishi added.

Sikkim’s road network requires upgradation to all-weather roads as frequent landslides and erosion damage roads and disrupt intra-state connectivity. The PRF will help the state upgrade identified major districts and other roads to improve linkages to the national and state highway network connecting important towns and commercial centres.

Some of the priority roads identified for upgradation are included in the state’s master plan for transport management formulated with ADB technical assistance in 2012. The ADB-funded North Eastern State Roads Investment Program launched in 2011 had earlier supported road improvements in Sikkim.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, ADB has 68 members, which includes 49 from the region.

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