Sri Lanka Wednesday signed two loan agreements with the Asia Development Bank (ADB) to obtain US$ 100 million of a US$ 800 million assistance package to rehabilitate and improve the island's road network.
The ADB has agreed to provide loan assistance of US$ 800 million to implement the 'Maga Neguma' Integrated Road Investment Program of the Government which is aimed at developing the rural road network.
The Development Policy Framework of the Government has identified the necessity of rehabilitation and improvement of road network of the country to provide nationwide connectivity.
While establishing a trunk road network with expressways and well-connected national roads, the Government plans to improve rural road network to connect rural populations to trunk roads.
Therefore, the Government has planned to implement an investment program to ensure rural road connectivity with the adjacent socio economic centers.
Under this program 1,000 rural community hubs will be selected based on the population, development potentials and the distance to trunk roads. Selected national roads, provincial and local authority roads including feeder roads will be rehabilitated to ensure the connectivity to the selected rural hubs.
The ADB has agreed to provide US$ 800 million loan assistance in 6 tranches to implement the program in Southern Province, Sabaragamuwa Province, Central Province, North Central Province, North Western Province and Kalutara District of Western Province. The government will invest US$ 106 million.
The overall program will design, improve and maintain about 3,106 km of rural access roads, including provincial and local authority roads and about 260 km of national roads.
The rural access roads will be improved to all weather standards, and be maintained for three years under the program. Selected national road corridors will be improved and maintained for seven years, while short isolated sections will be maintained for three years after improvement.
In addition, the program will improve the capacity of the road development agencies, including Ministry of Highways Ports and Shipping, Road Development Authority (RDA), provincial road agencies and local authorities on road asset management, project management, and contract administration.
The first tranche in an amount of US$ 100 million with the US$ 18 million of government's investment will finance the first slice of the project in Southern Province in order to improve and maintain 560 km of rural access roads and 130km of national roads, build capacity of implementing agencies in Southern Province and prepare projects for subsequent tranches.
The Ministry of Highways, Ports and Shipping will be the Executing Agency for the Project, and the implementing agency will be the Road Development Authority. The Ministry of Highways, Ports and Shipping will be responsible for program-specific monitoring and reporting. The overall project is scheduled to be completed by 30th March 2024.
Dr. P B Jayasundera, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning and Ms. Sri Widowati, Country Director of ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission signed the two Loan Agreements to obtain US$ 100 million on 5th November 2014 at the Ministry of Finance and Planning.