Indian Government and ADB Collaborate to Enhance Infrastructure in Bihar

Indian Government and ADB Collaborate to Enhance Infrastructure in Bihar
Indian Government and ADB Collaborate to Enhance Infrastructure in Bihar

In a renewed partnership, the Indian government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are set to embark on an ambitious infrastructure development endeavor in Bihar. With a substantial loan amounting to $295 million, the “Enhancing Connectivity and Sustainability in Bihar Roads Project” seeks to upgrade approximately 265 km of state highways in the region. This transformation will integrate climate and disaster-resilient designs and incorporate robust road safety measures, fortifying the state’s infrastructure against environmental challenges.

Aligned with the Bihar government’s vision of upgrading all state highways to standard two-lane widths and prioritizing road safety, the project holds the promise of significant benefits for the region. The upgraded roads are expected to foster enhanced connectivity in impoverished rural areas, thus improving access to essential services such as healthcare, education, and markets, ultimately uplifting the well-being of the local population.

At the signing ceremony, Vumlunmang Vualnam, additional secretary of the department of economic affairs, represented the Indian government, and Takeo Konishi, the ADB’s country director for India, cemented their commitment to the ambitious initiative, signifying the collaborative spirit behind the project.

A central objective of the “Enhancing Connectivity and Sustainability in Bihar Roads Project” is to imbue climate-resilient and disaster-preparedness elements into the upgraded state highways. By adopting innovative road design strategies capable of withstanding adverse weather conditions and natural calamities, the project seeks to ensure the longevity and functionality of the roads, thus safeguarding the significant infrastructure investment against potential risks posed by climate change.

To ensure the project’s success, comprehensive support and reinforcement will be extended to the Bihar State Road Development Corporation Limited. Key initiatives have been planned to bolster the capabilities of the state road agency:

  1. Development of a sophisticated road asset management system for real-time monitoring and data-driven decision-making, incorporating climate change and disaster risk information to facilitate prompt responses to potential hazards and improved road maintenance.
  2. Establishment of research laboratories at the Bihar Road Research Institute to conduct in-depth material investigations, identifying reusable and sustainable materials capable of counteracting the adverse effects of climate change, promoting eco-friendly and resilient infrastructure practices.
  3. Comprehensive studies on congestion management and climate adaptation to optimize road usage and effectively address potential traffic bottlenecks, contributing to streamlined transportation and enhanced overall road network efficiency.

The project also places significant emphasis on gender inclusivity, aiming to create guidelines for gender-sensitive road safety measures. In addition, it strives to provide employment opportunities for female workers in construction works, while tailored training programs will focus on livelihood, road safety, health, hygiene, and awareness against abuse and harassment for women from communities in the project areas.

The partnership between ADB and Bihar has a longstanding history, dating back to 2008. Over the years, ADB has extended five loans totaling $1.63 billion to Bihar, resulting in the upgrading of approximately 1,696 km of state highways and the construction of a vital bridge over the Ganga, significantly bolstering connectivity and transportation in the region. With the “Enhancing Connectivity and Sustainability in Bihar Roads Project,” the collaboration continues to build on past successes, promising a brighter future for Bihar’s infrastructure and economic growth.