AIIB Approves $ 140M Rural Connectivity Project In Madhya Pradesh

Bharat Mahan

Approximately 1.5 Million rural residents of Madhya Pradesh are going to directly benefit from improved livelihoods, education and mobility with the USD 140-Million loan approved by the Board of Directors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in a meeting held on 11th April in Beijing. The project, co-financed with the World Bank, aims to improve the rural road connectivity and management for residents of about 5,640 villages who use the rural roads for daily activities.

Livelihoods of the rural population will be improved by expanding income earning opportunities through better farm-to-market road connections. Moreover, more children are expected to enroll in higher education programs and school attendance is expected to further improve. The road maintenance pilot under the project will employ more women, contributing to gender equality and income generation.

“Promoting sustainable growth in India through investment in rural infrastructure will require substantial financing,” said AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer D.J. Pandian. “I am glad that AIIB’s participation in this project will contribute to reducing this financing gap and enhance overall development in the region.”

In addition to the above, the project also aims to improve durability and accessibility, and enhance resilience to climate change of the gravel surfaced rural road iof Madhya Pradesh while building the capacity of the state to manage its rural road network and road safety.

The planned activities under the project are:

· Upgrading the gravel surfaced roads to a sealed surface standard.

· Providing additional linkages to villages with potential for high growth.

· Enhancing institutional capacity through implementing/upgrading a rural road asset management system and strengthening design and research and quality assurance capacity of the implementation agency.

· Developing road safety management capacity with road accident data management system and piloting a comprehensive road safety program.

· Supporting design, implementation and management.

AIIB Director General of Investment Operations Supee Teravaninthorn said that this project will provide sustainable and safe last-mile connectivity to small villages and improve mobility of the rural population of Madhya Pradesh. He said that the project will stimulate economic development in the entire state of Madhya Pradesh and improve the livelihoods of the rural population, especially rural women and girls. It is a typical reflection of our priorities of enhancing economic growth and sustainability through infrastructure investment.

More details and information and the P​roject’s Environmental and Social Management Plan

​are available at https://www.aiib.org/en/projects/approved/index.html

The Project Objective, as given on the AIIB web site says: "The objective of the Project is to improve rural accessibility through resilient infrastructure and enhance capacity of MPRRDA to manage MP’s rural road network. The primary beneficiaries are villagers, especially women and children, who use the rural roads daily for social and economic activities. The secondary beneficiaries are various service providers, emergency services, and police. The Project will extend economic development to the state as a whole by integrating isolated and poor rural population with the rest of the state and markets. The expected results of the Project are to improve livelihood of rural population by giving them more income earning opportunities through a better farm to market road connection."

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