$300m WB credit to improve rural road network
Author / Source : BSS
DHAKA, Nov 13: The World Bank (WB) will provide Bangladesh with around US$ 300 million for improving the country’s rural road network.
The concessional credit would be disbursed for the second phase of the Rural Transport Improvement Project (RTIP) as the first phase of the project will come to an end shortly, said a WB statement today. Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) is implementing the RTIP with financial support from the International Development Association (IDA), the concessionary arm of the WB.
The IDA has already financed US $190 million for RTIP. Besides, a financing Agreement for US$ 20 million additional fund for flood rehabilitation work was signed in 2008 and further US$ 7 million savings from the main project was also channeled for flood rehabilitation in 16 districts.
The World Bank has already disbursed more than US $208 million and the rest will be disbursed by June 2012 when the project ends.
The project, since its inception in 2003 has maintained and improved more than 2500 km of rural roads and built or improved over 120 growth market centers and more than 30 jetties.
RTIP is implemented in 21 districts and the project’s impact area covers over 44,000 square km. The project adopted an integrated approach to rural trade and transport infrastructure development by focusing on the physical improvements of inter linked roads, small bridges and culverts, growth center markets and river jetties.
The project so far created over 47,000 person years of employment in the project area. Improved rural roads have made it easier for the children to go to schools, health care facilities are now more accessible and new economic opportunities have opened up for villagers.
The project also contributed in developing a comprehensive rural road transport safety framework and implementing sustainable enhancements to LGED’s capacities in planning, monitoring, finance, asset management, administration and governance.
These led to better and more economic opportunities for the rural community.
A World Bank team recently reviewed the progress of the project and confirmed the project is on the right track in achieving the project objectives.
In response to Government’s request, the World Bank has undertaken preparation for a second phase of the rural transport improvement project. Currently the World Bank and the Government is working together to design the project components with emphasis on maintenance.