World Bank will fund projects promoting physical distancing

A view of the World Bank headquarters.

A view of the World Bank headquarters.  

The Greater Chennai Corporation and other line agencies are set to get funding from the World Bank for projects such as mega streets, evening clinics and additional MTC buses for tackling post-COVID-19 challenges.

A meeting with World Bank officials was held this week, focusing on the need for infrastructure improvement. For instance, 110 km of mega streets, estimated to be worth ₹2,000 crore, are expected to provide non-motorised transport facilities suitable for physical distancing, officials said. Wide footpaths and public spaces will adopt a similar design.

“After relaxation of the lockdown, fewer commuters will be allowed in public transit systems, including MTC buses. So, we need more buses designed for maintaining physical distancing,” an official said.

“The city needs more evening clinics after the relaxation of the lockdown. The World Bank is looking at improving public health infrastructure in the city,” he said.

Discussions held

The World Bank and the Tamil Nadu government held deliberations this week on establishing the Chennai City Partnership.

They discussed strengthening policies and institutional performance, enhancing service delivery through an integrated approach and strengthening sustainability of financing to comprehensively address urban transport and mobility challenges.

“We have narrowed down on the following: establishing a metropolitan vision for the city, strengthening governance and institutions, achieving sustainable mobility through an integrated multi-modal system and establishing sustainable funding and financing mechanisms,” another official said.

The Corporation, over the years, has made great progress in urban mobility, civic officials said.

With a non-motorised transport policy adopted in 2014, the civic body has transformed over 120 km of streets into pedestrian- friendly. The civic body also recently launched a study on the Mega Streets Project, aimed at transforming six areas into world-class neighbourhoods.

“One of the projects the World Bank was interested in is the Mega Street Project, estimated to be worth ₹2,000 crore. They want the safe city street design guidelines to be adopted by all agencies, including the Highways Department. They are also looking at women’s safety,” an official said.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 12:13:17 PM |

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