The Asian Development Band (ADB) has approved $154.4 million for the Northern Road Connectivity Project in Sri Lanka to rebuild the roads in the once conflict-affected northern region.
The financial assistance to rehabilitate the road network is aimed to spur the economic growth in the war-devastated region enabling livelihoods of the people to be upgraded and to bring normalcy to the region.
The ADB Board of Directors yesterday approved the loan from ADB's ordinary capital resources and concessionary Asian Development Fund. It will also provide a technical assistance grant of $500,000 to support agencies that manage and maintain the roads.
The road network in the region had been severely damaged due to the long-running war and neglect hampering the transportation of goods to markets outside the region and isolating the region from the more prosperous South.
An ADB press statement said the project will carry out civil works on 140 kilometers of provincial roads in Mannar and Vavuniya districts, including those linking settlements to markets, as well as major feeder roads connecting towns and villages.
Another 170 kilometers of national roads will be rehabilitated, helping link the north to city centers in the south. The improved surfacing and widening will help cut travel time and costs, revitalizing travel between the north and south, the release added. The project due to be completed in 2015, will facilitate access to essential social services, help resume livelihood activities, and revitalize transport of goods and peoples between the country's northern and southern regions, Dong-Kyu Lee, Transport Specialist in ADB's South Asia Department said.
Sri Lankan Government is to provide assistance of $18.6 million, for a total project cost of $173 million.The grant of $500,000 from ADB's Technical Assistance Special Fund will be used to strengthen the capacity of the Northern Provincial Council-Northern Provincial Road Development Department to manage and maintain the road network. Additional technical assistance support of $60,000 equivalent will come from the two provincial agencies.
source news.lk 6-20