ISLAMABAD, July 27: The Asian Development Bank will assist Pakistan to prepare and adopt a strategic plan in road network improvement in Sindh, it was learnt here.
At present, more than half of road network in the province is in poor condition and one-third is in ‘very poor condition’.
Sindh has been selected as the first province with ADB help to prepare the strategic plan given its size of road network, availability of maintenance fund, volume of GDP, and condition of the road network.
The proposed project costing $232 million will help provincial road network improvement to enhance connectivity between provincial transport centres and cities with local markets and communities, provide much-needed access to education and health facilities, and contribute to poverty reduction by creation of jobs and employment opportunities.
ADB has started evaluating the project, and expected to provide a loan of $200 million for rehabilitation and improvement of about 400km provincial highway besides strengthening institutional capacity of Sindh Works and Services Department (WSD).
A fact finding mission of ADB will visit Sindh during the first week of March next year to finalise its recommendations for submission to ADB management.
According to the project document, the road network in Sindh is about 56,257km, of which the National Highway Authority (NHA) manages about 1,385km of inter-provincial national highway and the WSD manages 17,631km provincial roads directly and also oversees about 37,261km district roads indirectly, which are mainly located in rural areas and managed by district governments.
The report submitted to ADB points out that a large portion of the network has deteriorated with inadequate pavement and drainage as a result of poor regulation and endorsement, overloading, inadequate maintenance and lack of capital investment.
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