New Delhi, Jun 3 (PTI) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has inked a pact with the union government for USD 2.5 million (approx Rs 18.23 crore) loan assistance to upgrade road infrastructure in the north-eastern state Sikkim.
The USD 2.5 million project readiness financing (PRF) loan will support project preparation and design activities to upgrade major district roads in Sikkim, ADB said in a release on Thursday.
The pact will help improve connectivity to important towns, rural areas, and pilgrimage and tourist destinations in the north-eastern state, ADB said.
The signatories of the PRF for the proposed Sikkim Major District Road Upgradation Project were Rajat Kumar Mishra from the Ministry of Finance and ADB Country Director of ADB's India Resident Mission Takeo Konishi.
State's road network is in need of upgradation to all-weather roads as frequent landslides and erosion damage roads and disrupt intra state connectivity, ADB said.
"The PRF will support the state government's priority in improving road connectivity in the hill state through planning and designing of major districts and other roads and bridges that will help boost the state's economy and improve accessibility for people in remote villages," Mishra said.
Some of the priority roads identified for upgradation are included in the state's master plan for transport management that was 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.
The PRF project aims to ensure implementation and readiness through feasibility studies, preparing detailed engineering designs of selected sub projects and building capacity of state agencies so that the ensuing project gets completed in a timely manner, Konishi said.
"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," he added.