Islamabad: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan signed a $140 million loan to improve the provincial roads in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

The loan agreement was signed by Xiaohong Yang, ADB Country Director for Pakistan and Syed Ghazanfar Abbas Jilani, Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) in Islamabad.

Mohammad Shahab Khattak, Secretary, Communication and Works Department and Ahmed Nabi Sultan, Managing Director of the Pakhtunkhwa Highway Authority signed the project agreement on behalf of the Government of KP.

“The project signed here today is a continuation of ADB support for upgrading Pakistan’s vital infrastructure to stimulate economic growth and job creation.” said Ms Yang.

“ADB continues to look forward to work very closely with the governments at the Federal and Provinces to accelerate economic development by -among others- developing road for improving mobility and connectivity.”

The KP Provincial Roads Improvement Project will rehabilitate eight key road sections with total length of 214 kilometers with a higher road safety and climate resilience standard to ensure for uninterrupted flows of people and goods within the province, across the country and beyond.

The $164 million project, in which the Government of Pakistan contributing $24 million, is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. This is for the first time that the provincial road project will implement two pilot performance-based maintenance contracts covering about 104 km of the roads.

Under the contracts for maintenance and operations of the road assets the role of a contractor is changed from a project executor to a road asset manager. This will strengthen the role of the provincial highways department.