The World Bank and the Government of India (GoI) have signed a $500m loan agreement for developing green national highway corridors across four Indian states, including Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

The Green National Highways Corridors project is expected to further increase the capacity of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in mainstreaming safety and green technologies.

Under this project, MoRTH will construct 783km of highways across various locations in the country by integrating safe and green technologies such as local and marginal materials, industrial byproducts, and other bioengineering solutions.

Once completed, the project is expected to offer seamless connectivity while reducing logistics costs and greenhouse gases (GHG) in the construction, as well as the maintenance of highways.

The Green National Highways Corridors project will also support analytics to map the freight volume and movement pattern on the National Highway network for identifying hurdles and provide innovative logistics solutions.

The project is also expected to address other issues that persist on several sections of these highways such as inadequate capacity and weak drainage structures.

New pavements and bypass roads will be constructed and existing road infrastructure will be further widened with improved junctions to address these issues.

The project is also expected to support the ministry to address gender-related issues by creating jobs for women in the transport sector.

World Bank India country director Junaid Ahmad said: “Connectivity for economic growth and connectivity for sustainable development are two important aspects of a country’s development trajectory. This operation brings these two priorities together in support of India’s growth strategy.

“This project will provide efficient transportation for road users in the four states, connect people with markets and services, promote efficient use of construction materials and water to reduce the depletion of scarce natural resources, and help lower GHG emissions.”

The loan is being provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and will have a maturity of 18.5 years with a five-year grace period.

In October, the World Bank agreed to provide a $120m loan to improve road connectivity in Meghalaya, a hill state in northeastern India.