India, ADB ink $484 mn loan to improve road infra in Tamil Nadu
Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Indian Government signed a $484 million loan on Wednesday to improve transportation connectivity and facilitate industrial development in Tamil Nadu's Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC).
CKIC is a part of India's East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), which runs from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu and connects India to the South, Southeast, and East Asian manufacturing networks.
The Asian Development Bank is India's primary development partner in ECEC.
On behalf of the Government of India, Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, signed an agreement for the Tamil Nadu Industrial Connectivity Project, while Takeo Konishi, Country Director for ADB in India, signed on behalf of ADB.
According to Mishra, the project is critical for providing seamless road connectivity across industrial clusters, transportation gateways, and consumption centres, as well as lowering logistics and production costs for CKIC's targeted industries, which will help them become more competitive.
Konishi stated that the project is one of the priority infrastructure projects identified for corridor development under the ADB-backed CKIC comprehensive development plan.
The overall goal is to promote industrial transformation by providing critical transportation, energy, and urban infrastructure for the holistic development of industrial growth centres, he added.
The project will upgrade roughly 590 km of state highways in the CKIC influence areas, which span 23 of Tamil Nadu's 32 districts between Chennai and Kanyakumari.
Increasing the participation of Indian manufacturing in global production networks and global value chains, as well as creating jobs along the corridor, will be aided by improved connectivity of industrial hubs with the hinterland and ports.
The project emphasises sustainability, climate change resilience, and road safety elements, in keeping with ADB's long-term corporate strategy, Strategy 2030. Long-term maintenance of road projects is covered by seven-year contracts.
Improved drainage, raised road embankments in critical sections, and resizing of bridges and culverts are among the climate change adaptation measures that will be included in highway upgrades.
Through advanced technologies for road monitoring and enforcement, the project will also strengthen road safety improvement programmes.
In addition, the project will assist Tamil Nadu's Highways and Minor Ports Department in improving its planning capacity.