The loan will fund two projects to improve road safety and provide all-weather accessibility for the road users

Andhra Pradesh will receive a USD 646 loan from the National Development Bank (NDB) for two projects to upgrade its State Highways and rural roads.

According to an agreement signed between the Government of India, the Government of Andhra Pradesh, and the NDB on Wednesday, the state will get up to USD 323 million each for the two projects.

The first project, Andhra Pradesh Roads and Bridges Reconstruction Project, comprises widening 1,600 km of State Highways to double lane, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement after the agreement was signed.

The project also includes reconstructing dilapidated bridges on the State Highway network.

The second project, Andhra Pradesh Mandal Connectivity and Rural Connectivity Improvement Project, will lead to the widening 1,400 km of district roads to double lane and reconstructing dilapidated bridges on the district road network.

According to the finance ministry, the Andhra Pradesh government will implement the projects through the Roads and Buildings Department.

The tenor of each loan is 32 years, including a moratorium period of 5 years

Explaining the importance of the two projects, the ministry said they are expected to improve mobility and connectivity to the socioeconomic centres, enhance transport efficiency, improve road safety and riding quality, and provide all-weather accessibility for the state's road users.

"The projects would increase the roads' daily traffic capacity to 15,000 passenger car units, which is expected to meet the projected traffic growth over the next 20 years," said the statement.

"The projects will contribute to the development of state infrastructure, enhance road connectivity and safety, and provide connectivity between adjoining Mandal headquarters and rural areas. The projects will also have a positive impact on employment generation and economic well-being," said Baldeo Purushartha, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

According to NDB Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Xian Zhu, "The projects will expand the capacity of roads with high vehicular traffic, improve last-mile connectivity to ports and industrial hubs and enhance connectivity to rural areas contributing to the enhanced socioeconomic development of the State of Andhra Pradesh".

The NDB was established on the basis of an agreement among the BRICS countries (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa) in 2014. It aims to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging market economies and developing countries.