February 12, 2016
New Delhi, February 12th 2016: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a technical cooperation agreement with the Government of India for ‘capacity development project on highways in mountainous regions' on February 9th. The project will provide for strengthening of institutional capacity of organizations engaged in development of road network in mountain terrains, such as Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) and state-level Public Works Departments (PWDs). The agreement was signed by Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office and Niraj Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India.
The MoRTH has assigned high priority on development of national highways in the mountainous regions to enhance local connectivity, such as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and the North-East region. MoRTH is keen to adopt new technologies related to tunnels, bridges and slope stabilization and enhance its capacities for disaster resistant planning, cost effective construction technologies and safety management in mountainous highways. JICA has been continuously cooperating with MoRTH and other road agencies in their human resource development as well as construction of highways since early 1990s when JICA started dispatch of Japanese experts to those organizations. The newly-started technical cooperation represents JICA's attempts to further its cooperation in the transport sector, which would play a pivotal role for economic and social development in India.
Under the JICA's cooperation, technical guidelines will be prepared for design, development and management of road network in mountainous regions, including for tunnels, high-pier bridges, earthworks, slope protection and waterways for the drainage. JICA will dispatch experts from Japan on highway engineering and management, and conduct technical training programs for Indian engineers and technical personnel, in partnership with the Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE), to enhance capacity of Indian government in planning, construction and management of highways in mountainous regions.
The JICA assisting project will entail field-surveys for collection and analysis of existing information on highways in mountainous regions and identify issues related to their development, including in disaster-prone regions. The project will evaluate mountain terrains across India in preparing the technical guidelines.
"Transportation infrastructure is widely acknowledged as being pivotal to promoting growth and development. Roads provide accessibility, easier movement of people and freight, promote investments for production, distribution and consumption and improve living standards of people. Road connectivity in mountainous regions facilitates not only opportunities for economic growth but also social integration with other regions, as has been experienced in Japan," said Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office.
Established, by Japanese specific law, as an independent administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of concessional loan, grant finance and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
JICA India Office Web: http://www.jica.go.jp/india/english/
JICA India Brochure: http://www.jica.go.jp/india/english/office/others/brochures.html