The World Bank has approved $350 million loan to accelerate the development of Karnataka's core road network through the Second Karnataka State Highway Improvement Project (KSHIP II).
The Government of Karnataka has identified about 25,000 km of the most important traffic corridors and designated them as the state's core road network. The Second Karnataka State Highway Improvement Project (KSHIP II) will finance improvements in 1,231 km of roads into two lanes.
This Project follows the first $ 360 million Karnataka State Highway Improvement Project (KSHIP I) implemented from 2001 to 2007 which has improved and maintained 2,385 km of State Highways and Major District Roads.
Under this Project, while the share of state highways which are under good condition has increased from 5 per cent to 35 per cent, the travel time in key road corridors has decreased by 37 per cent.
"The acceleration of the road development programme and attention to road safety as envisaged in this project will help the state realise faster social and economic benefits and spur more investments," said Roberto Zagha, World Bank Country Director in India.
"This loan from the World Bank, we hope, will help the Government of Karnataka leverage private sector financing through economically viable Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in accelerating the development of their state highways," said Venu Rajamony, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs.
In a statement, the Bank said according to the latest road condition survey, 39 per cent of the core road network requires improvement to bring it into good or fair condition. At the same time, vehicular traffic in the state has been rapidly growing at the rate of 10 to 15 percent per year in the last decade, the survey says.
Karnataka also accounts for 10 per cent of the total road accident cases in India. The number of fatalities has increased by 55 per cent since 2000 to reach a rate of 140 per 100,000 vehicles in 2009 compared with rates like nine in the UK, 15 in USA and 70 in Brazil and China.
The high fatality rate in Karnataka is attributed to a lack of effective road safety management and enforcement system.