Kerala

World Bank extends KSTP Phase II

World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva

World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva   | Photo Credit: Kacper Pempel

State will get two years to complete upgrade of 363 km of SH corridors

The World Bank (WB) has extended the second phase of the Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP), launched in June 2013 with the support of a World Bank loan of $216 million, till April 2021.

With this, the State will get two years to complete the upgrade of 363 km of State Highway (SH) corridors spread over 10 packages across the State. Improvement of traffic flow and strengthening of road safety management systems will also be taken up.

The decision to extend Phase II has been communicated to the government, Public Works Department and the KSTP, a senior WB official told The Hindu here. As per the agreement, Phase II was to end on November 30, 2018.

It is a breather for the State as the WB had threatened to pull out of the $445-million KSTP or partially cancel the loan extended in the wake of the missed deadlines and slow pace of works in Phase II.

‘Poor performer tag’

Kerala has also been able to avoid the ‘poor performer tag’ that would have been automatically bestowed if the WB had pulled out of the project.

The State would also have suffered in procuring funds from international funding agencies such as the WB , Asian Development Bank, and others.

Delay in acquiring land for the corridors to be developed, issues created by contractors, and poor financial progress were the criticisms raised by the WB about Phase II.

In 2017, Kerala gave a commitment to the Union Department of Economic Affairs and the WB that it would expedite the ongoing works during a review in Delhi.

A WB team had recently expressed its satisfaction at the pace of the State Highways (SH) upgrade and road safety works.

The WB mission headed by task team leader Arnab Bandyopadhyay was in the State from April 8 to 12 to review the progress of Phase II works.

Safe corridor

The ₹146.6-crore 80-km Vettu Road-Thycaud to Adoor safe corridor demonstration project and the 82.13-km Punalur-Ponkunnam road are among the unfinished works.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 7:49:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/wb-extends-kstp-phase-ii/article28526403.ece

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