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ADB Provides USD 200 Million to Upgrade Rural Roads in Maharashtra State

Infra News - Published on Wed, 14 Aug 2019

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The Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of USD 200 million to upgrade rural roads to all-weather standards in 34 districts of India’s Maharashtra State to better connect rural areas with markets and services. ADB Principal Portfolio Management Specialist Mr Sanath Ranawana said “The upgraded roads under the ADB project will boost links between local residents, productive agricultural land, and economic centers across the state. Improving farmers’ access to markets will in turn help boost agricultural productivity and incomes as well as promote investment in agribusiness and agriculture value chain infrastructure.”

Maharashtra accounted for almost 15% of India’s gross domestic product in fiscal year (FY) 2017, the biggest share among India’s states. However, economic development is concentrated around the urban centers of Mumbai, Pune, and Thane. There are imbalances in human development across districts while income inequality is one of the highest among all states in India. About 20 million people, or 17% of the state’s population, still live below the national poverty line, while in some districts—particularly in rural areas—it is as high as 40%.

Agriculture accounts for about 47% of employment, engages as much as 79% of the rural labor force, and contributes 11% to the state gross domestic product. However, this contribution is falling. Farmers face persistent crop losses due to the variable climate and limited access to processing and storage facilities, resulting in high levels of debts and even farmer suicides.

Maharashtra has an extensive road network, with rural roads making up two thirds of the network. But more than half of these rural roads are unsealed, making them unsuitable for motorized traffic and impassable during the rainy season. Road safety has also been a growing concern, with the state accounting for more than 8% of all fatal road accidents in India.

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Posted By : Mohan Sharma on Wed, 14 Aug 2019
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