Centre, Meghalaya, World Bank ink project to boost transport sector

SHILLONG, Nov 20: The Centre, Meghalaya government and the World Bank have signed a $120 million project to improve and modernise the transport sector of the state.
The Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project (MITP) is expected to help the state harness its growth potential for high-value agriculture and tourism.
Besides improving about 300km of strategic road segments and stand-alone bridges using innovative, climate resilient, and nature-based solutions, the project will also support innovative solutions such as precast bridges to reduce both time and cost of construction.
CS Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs of the Finance ministry, said that the MITP would help Meghalaya develop reliable, climate resilient and safe roads, which is crucial for the economic development of the state and its people.
The loan agreement was signed by Mohapatra on behalf of the Government of India and Hideki Mori, operations manager (India), World Bank.
The project agreement was signed by Vijay Kumar D, Commissioner and Secretary (Planning) on behalf of the Meghalaya Government and Mori on behalf of the World Bank.
It may be mentioned that difficult hilly terrain and extreme climatic conditions make Meghalaya’s transport challenges particularly complex even as about half of the 5,362 habitations in the state lack transport connectivity. “This project will tap into Meghalaya’s growth potential in two ways. Within the state, it will provide the much-needed transport connectivity. It will also position Meghalaya as a major connecting hub for international trade through the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and the Nepal Corridor,” he said. This operation will also support the state government’s “Restart Meghalaya Mission” to revive and boost development activities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic besides restoring transport services and generate direct employment of about eight million person days.
The $120 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a maturity of 14 years including a grace period of 6 years.

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