The World Bank on Wednesday approved a $ 50.7 million loan to improve quality and sustainability of the road network in Tamil Nadu.

This is additional financing to the Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project, which became effective on October 31, 2003, with a loan amount of $ 348 million, said a media release.

“Thus far, the project has improved around 850 km of roads and upgraded 570 km of existing state highways to two lane roads,” said Pratap Tvgssshrk, World Bank transport specialist and project team leader.

“Project performance indicators pertaining to reduction in road accident fatalities, reduction of travel time, and adequate allocation of resources for maintenance have met end-of-project targets,” he said.

The World Bank said additional financing will help meet a cost overrun, primarily caused by an increase in the prices of construction materials and an appreciation of the Indian Rupee vs the Dollar.

By project’s end, 1,380 km of roads will be improved and another 720 km upgraded to two lanes in the core Tamil Nadu network.

In addition, the project will help enhance road safety by improving several accident-prone locations and achieve better management of the network through strengthening of the operational capacity of the Highways Department, it said.