Sept 17, 2009 (LBO) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it is giving Sri Lanka a 70 million dollar road rehabilitation loan to support its drive to revitalize two provinces in the north and east. The loan, from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund, will fund the upgrade of 370 kilometres of roads and rebuild and replace bridges in the eastern and north central provinces which have suffered from years of civil conflict and economic neglect.
The bank said in a statement the 32-year loan, which makes up almost 90 percent of the total project cost of 78 million dollars, has an eight-year grace period with an annual interest charge of one percent, rising to 1.5 percent for the balance.
The government is financing project taxes and duties of eight million dollars. The project is due for completion in December 2013.
A technical assistance grant of 800,000 dollars will help boost the capacity of provincial agencies managing and maintaining roads, supporting the central government’s move to devolve these responsibilities to the local level, the ADB said.
“The project roads serve some of the poorest provinces in the country,” said Sri Widowati, Head of the Project Administratio