India seeks World Bank's partnership to develop highways

      Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath has sought World Bank's partnership for the development of highways in the country. The Minister met the World Bank President, Robert Zoellick at Washington DC on Friday and sensitized him about the critical role that National Highways and roads play in promoting inclusive growth in India. Kamal Nath also told him about the Government's resolve to move ahead and apprised him of the target of building 20 kilometers of Highways every day. He discussed with the World Bank Chief India's plans to convert its single lane Highways into two-lane Highways and sought financial support of Rs. 15,000 crore from the World Bank for building 6,000 kilometers of this project. Kamal Nath also sought World Bank's assistance for the series of mega projects that are being planned. Both discussed the several ways in which the World Bank's engagement in the process of building up India's Highways could be enhanced, including through assistance in project development, capacity building, and financing public private partnerships. World Bank could also assist in adoption of best practices for management of Highways. Zoellick agreed that Roads and Highways were key to the growth of the Indian economy and said that the World Bank would extend its full support in this sector.

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