ADB approves $180m loan to support Nepal’s main trading highway

5 Oct 18

The Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of $180m to support improvements to Nepal’s main highway enabling trade.

The road, known as the Mahendra Highway, carries more than 90% of passengers and goods in the country and is the main domestic and international trade route.

The loan will improve and rehabilitate the road between Kanchanpur and Kamala on the East-West highway and upgrade the section to four lanes, for increased traffic demand.

ADB transport specialist Johan Georget said: “The highway’s road surface—Nepal’s busiest route—is in a fair to poor condition and does not segregate oncoming traffic or slow-moving vehicles and pedestrians.

“Improving the road will boost the efficiency of Nepal’s transport system, strengthen national and regional connectivity to promote growth and trade, and improve road safety.”

The loan will also improve road safety and service lanes in populated areas.

Accompanying the loan is a technical assistance grant of $750,000 to prepare a national road safety policy and action plan, strengthen road safety and promote gender equality measures in the transport sector.

The total project cost is $256.4m, of which the government will put in $76.4m.

 

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