New Delhi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India on Wednesday have signed a $484 million loan to improve transport connectivity and facilitate industrial development in the Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in the state of Tamil Nadu. CKIC is part of India’s East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), which stretches from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu and connects India to the production networks of South, Southeast, and East Asia. ADB is the lead partner of the Government of India in developing ECEC.
Department of Economic Affairs' Additional Secretary Rajat Kumar Mishra signed the agreement for the Tamil Nadu Industrial Connectivity Project on behalf of the Government of India, while Country Director for ADB in India Takeo Konishi signed for ADB.
The project will upgrade about 590 km of state highways in the CKIC influence areas that cover 23 of the 32 districts between Chennai and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. Enhanced connectivity of industrial hubs with hinterland and ports will particularly help increase the participation of Indian manufacturing in global production networks and global value chains, thereby creating jobs along the corridor.
In line with strategy 2030, ADB’s long-term corporate strategy, the project emphasises sustainability, climate change resilience, and road safety elements. The seven-year contracts are provided for long-term maintenance of road projects. The climate change adaptation measures will be incorporated in highway upgrades, including improved drainage, raised road embankments in critical sections, and resizing bridges and culverts. The project will also strengthen road safety improvement programs through advanced technologies for road monitoring and enforcement. In addition, the project will help improve the planning capacity of Tamil Nadu’s Highways and Minor Ports Department.
“The project is key to providing seamless road connectivity across industrial clusters, transport gateways and consumption centers, and help reduce logistics and production costs for CKIC’s targeted industries to boost their competitiveness,” remarked Mishra.
“The project is part of the priority infrastructure projects identified for corridor development under the ADB-supported CKIC comprehensive development plan,” said Konishi. “The overall objective is to spur industrial transformation through provisioning of essential transport, energy and urban infrastructure for holistic development of industrial growth centres.”
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
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