Context: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a $177 million loan to upgrade 450 kilometers (km) of state highways and major district roads in the state of Maharashtra.

More on the news: 

  • The project will focus on training the Maharashtra Public Works Department project staff to build their capacity in climate change adaptation and disaster resilient features in road design, road maintenance planning and road safety.
    • The project is to update the road maintenance system by encouraging 5-year performance-based maintenance obligations to contractors to sustain asset quality and service levels.

Significance of the project:

  • The project will improve connectivity between rural areas and urban centers in the state enabling rural communities to better access markets, employment opportunities and services. 
  • Improved mobility will expand development and livelihood opportunities outside of the state’s major urban centers to second-tier cities and towns thus reducing income disparities.
  • The project will also strengthen road safety measures by developing a road safety audit framework that will protect vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women, and children, following the international best practice. 

About ADB:

  • ADB is a regional development bank established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members - 49 from the Asia-Pacific region. Its head office is located at Manilla, Philippines
  • Objective: ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. 
  • India is a founding member of the Asian Development Bank.
  • This bank is designed on the lines of the World Bank  and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members' capital subscriptions.
  • Shareholders: Japan holds the largest share in ADB with 15.677%, followed by the U.S.A (15.567%), China (6.473%), and India (5.812%). 
  • Strategy 2030 sets the course for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to respond effectively to the region’s changing needs.
    • Under Strategy 2030, ADB will sustain its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and expand its vision to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific.