Govt seeks $2.96 bn World Bank loan for 2-laning of national highway

Govt seeks $2.96 bn World Bank loan for 2-laning of national highway

New Delhi: India has sought $2.96 billion loan from World Bank for two-laning of over 17,000 km of national highway in the country, road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Replying to supplementaries during question hour, he said World Bank has agreed to consider granting the new loan for the project.

“A proposal has been forwarded to World Bank to consider an assistance of USD 2.96 billion for development of non-NHDP (National Highway Development Project) National Highway sections in various states to two-lane standards," he said.

Despite some concerns over implementation of the National Highway projects, the World Bank has also agreed to look at funding of viability gap, he said.

He said there were 163 arbitration cases relating to Rs8,508.77 crore worth of highway projects under NHDP.

Nath said land acquisition remains the single largest impediment in building of roads and pointed out that out of 218 projects completed under NHDP, 146 projects were completed behind schedule.

State governments have been requested to set up dedicated 192 Special Land Acquisition Units to speed up land acquisition exclusively for NHDP projects, he said, adding chief secretaries have been requested to head the monitoring committee in their states to accelerate land acquisition.