March 31, 2017
New Delhi, March 31, 2017: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) today signed an agreement with Government of India to provide 67,170 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 4,000 crores) Official Development Assistance Loan (ODA) for "North East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project (Phase I)". The agreement was signed between Mr. Takema SAKAMOTO, Chief Representative, JICA India Office and Mr. S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance in New Delhi. The ODA loan's conditions are very concessional, i.e. 1.4% interest rate for project activities and 0.01% interest rate for consulting services, and 30 years of repayment period (including 10 years of grace period). The assistance from JICA will improve the connectivity in the North-East Region of India through improvement of roads and bridges, thereby promoting regional socio-economic development. The purpose of the North East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project is to improve and construct several national highways in the North Eastern states of India such as Mizoram and Meghalaya.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Takema SAKAMOTO, Chief Representative, JICA India Office said, "Although the North Eastern Region (NER) of India is envisaged as the gateway to South East Asia, it lacks high quality transport infrastructure both within and across the states. Development and maintenance of transport network is difficult due to hilly terrain, heavy precipitation and the consequent landslides. The Project will contribute to socio-economic development and regional connectivity which attribute to living standards improvement. A unique feature of the Project is that modern slope protection technologies shall be introduced to address the problem of landslides in the NER."
Phase I of the Project entails improvement of NH-54 and NH-51 in Mizoram and Meghalaya states, respectively. NH-54 is located in the central part of Mizoram state. The stretch of the targeted section of NH54 is from Aizawl to Tuipang in Mizoram with the length of approximately 350km. Improvement of NH-54 would enhance the connectivity of the Government of India's Kaladan Multi Modal Transport Corridor, which connects the North-East states to the rest of India through Myanmar by roads, inland water transport and marine transport. NH-51 is located in the western part of Meghalaya state. The stretch of the targeted section of NH-51 is from Tura to Dalu in Meghalaya with the length of approximately 50km, which connects to the Bangladesh border.
The Executing Agency for the Project is National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL), and NHIDCL shall also be responsible for the operation and maintenance after the completion of the Project. NHIDCL is a public owned corporation of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India. The company has the mandate to develop, improve and maintain national highways and strategic roads including interconnecting roads in parts of the country, which share international boundaries with neighbouring countries.
JICA has previously provided 15,359 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 900 crore) in ODA loan for "Umiam Hydro Power Station Renovation Project" in Meghalaya and Tuirial Hydroelectric Power Station Project in Mizoram. In addition, JICA has provided technical assistance from 2013-15 for study on development and management of land water resources for sustainable agriculture in Mizoram.
The current situation of NH-54. Some parts are unpaved and untreated, which could lead to landslides.
L-R – Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office and Mr. S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary , Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) at the Loan Agreement Signing of North-East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project (Phase I)
Established, by a 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, as a sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.