Shimla: Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today thanked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur and World Bank for signing $112 million (Rs. 840 crore) project to support Himachal Pradesh for strengthening its transport and road safety institutions by improving the condition, safety, resilience and engineering standards of State’s road network.

In the Rs. 840 crore project signed, $82 million (Rs.615 crore) would be share of World Bank and $30 million (Rs. 225 crore) would be of State Government. This is the first project to which loan agreement has been signed with World Bank post Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in the Country.

Chief Minister said that there are three components under tranche-I of the project. In the first component of the project, which is construction and flexibility of Himachal Pradesh Transport Institutions improvement of institutions would be done under which, HP State Road and Other Infrastructure Development Corporation would be re-established and operated, commercialisation of operation of labour and maintenance of Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department, setting up of Himachal Pradesh Motor Vehicle Administration, strengthening of Himachal Pradesh Transport Department and development of logistic system and strategy. 

Jai Ram Thakur said that the second component of project includes encouraging of horticulture and overall economic development, under which five identified 127-kilometre roads would be improved. The third component consists of improvement of road safety, “Suraskshit Pranali” and “Surakshit Galiyara Pahal” would be promoted.

To reduce the risk of deaths due road accidents, work on three pilot districts would be done besides strengthening of Road Safety Cell of Himachal Pradesh Transport Department, Road Accident Data Management System (RADMS) would also be expanded, speed control, training, variable messaging system, strengthening traffic police with technical assistance (CCTV) for Emergency Response System, ambulance, first aid kit etc would be provided, making community road safety programmes available and road safety advisory services would be covered in the third component.

He said that provision has been made to complete Tranche-I within a period of six years. After this, 523-kilometre roads would be upgraded in Tranche-II and Tranche-III, for which World Bank would be making provision of additional fund. 

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.