World Bank supports Rajasthan state highway network with $250m
The Government of India, Government of Rajasthan and the World Bank today signed a US$250 million loan agreement for the Rajasthan State Highways Development Program II Project to build the state’s capacity to better manage its highways and improve traffic flows on selected highways in Rajasthan.
The World Bank-supported project will support the construction, upgradation, improvement and maintenance of 766 kms of state highways and major district roads. It will also focus on enhancing the institutional capacity to manage strategic network of the state through operationalization of Rajasthan State Highways Authority. In addition, it will also strengthen the capacity of the Public Works Department which is responsible for about 70 percent of the state’s road network. Special attention will be accorded towards management of the road safety in the state.
“Development of state highways in Rajasthan is crucial to the success of national-level connectivity programs. The World Bank project will not just help the state expand its road network but also have a lasting impact on the management of state-wide transport capital investments,” said Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare on behalf of the Government of India; M.L. Verma, Chief Engineer and Additional secretary, Public Works Department, Government of Rajasthan; and Shanker Lal, Acting Country Director, World Bank India.
The World Bank-supported project will help leverage private capital of around US$45 million through a public-private partnership model. It will also support sustainable capacity to mobilize capital for the state highway network through the highway agency under the Rajasthan’s State Highway Act, 2014.
“Road safety is an integral part of this program. It invests in the state’s capacity for road safety management by using proactive and preventive methods and using innovative tools of data and information systems,” said Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India said. “Proactive sharing of lessons on road safety across states is also part of the project.”
The operation will also support the piloting of about 100 km of digital highways through design and implementation of Intelligent Transportation System interventions such as toll management systems and control centre, incident detection and management systems using CCTV cameras, variable message signs, speed management systems using Automatic Number Plate Recognition, speed cameras, and solar-powered animal crossing warning system, among others.
Additional focus will explore the possibility of making roads more resilient to climate change, particularly high temperatures and flooding, and support resource efficient growth through use of greener materials.
With more than 10,000 road traffic-related deaths in 2017, road safety management takes a significant position as state priority and is an important project component. It will help build the state’s capacity for road safety management, including for speed management, blackspot improvement program and the development and implementation of a road safety strategy. It will also support development and use of a GIS-based road accident data management system with the capability of community-based road accident reporting.
“By the end of the project, the state of Rajasthan will have undertaken a stronger institutional reform to manage its strategic state highways network more efficiently, improved and safer traffic flows in the state highways network,” said Justin Runji and Reenu Aneja, World Bank Task Team Leaders for the project.