The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and India signed 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 India.
The signatories to the Tranche 2 Loan Agreement for the $500 million South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation Road Connectivity investment Program were Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, who signed on behalf of the Government of India; and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB.
Approved in 20’14, the Program aims to expand about 500 kilometres of roads in India’s North Bengal and North-Eastern Region that will enable efficient and safe transport within India and regionally with other SASEC member countries.
The Project Agreement for the State of Manipur was signed by Mr Sheikh Abdul Hakim, Under Secretary (Works) and for the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited was signed by Mr W. Blah, Executive Director (Works).
After signing the loan agreement, Khare said that the Program 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. He said that it will give a boost to India’s efforts to promote regional connectivity in South Asia.
Speaking on the occasion, Yokoyama said that 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.