The Government of India has signed a US$ 484 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank to improve transport connectivity and facilitate industrial development in the Chennai Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in Tamil Nadu.
The Chennai Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) is part of India’s East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), which stretches from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu and connects India to the production networks of South, South-east, and East Asia. ADB is the lead partner of the Government of India in developing East Coast Economic Corridor, according to a statement.
The agreement was signed by Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs for the Tamil Nadu Industrial Connectivity Project on behalf of the Government of India and Takeo Konishi, Country Director - India, ADB. “The project is key to providing seamless road connectivity across industrial clusters, transport gateways, and consumption centres, and help reduce logistics and production costs for Chennai Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor’s targeted industries to improve their competitiveness,” said Rajat Kumar Mishra.
The project will upgrade about 590 km of State highways in the Chennai Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) influence areas, covering 23 of the 32 districts between Chennai and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
“The overall objective is to spur industrial transformation through provisioning of essential transport, energy, and urban infrastructure for holistic development of industrial growth centres,” said Takeo Konishi.
Enhanced connectivity of industrial hubs with hinterland and ports is expected to help expand the participation of Indian manufacturing in global production networks and global value chains, thereby creating jobs along the corridor.
The project emphasises sustainability, climate change resilience, and road safety elements. 7 year contracts are provided for long term maintenance of road projects. Climate change adaptation measures will be incorporated in highway upgrades, including improved drainage, raised road embankments in critical sections, and resizing of bridges and culverts.
The project will also strengthen the road safety improvement programmes through advanced technologies for road enforcement and monitoring. In addition, the project will help improve the planning capacity of Tamil Nadu’s Highways and Minor Ports Department, it said.