Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh government is implementing the Second Rural Transport Improvement Project (RTIP II), supported by the World Bank (WB), which is helping to improve the rural roads network in the country side.

The WB is providing US$ 302 million for the project. The financing is in the form of a zero interest credit from the International Development Association (IDA) with 40 years to maturity and a 10-year grace period, including a service charge on disbursed funds of 0.75 percent.

The RTIP II aims to maintain and improve around 5,250 km of union parishad and upazilla roads in the country’s 26 districts, the WB said on Monday.
The project will also pilot the restoration of rural waterways to provide year round connectivity to the poor and isolated rural communities who have no road access but have access to waterways, which are open for service only part of the year.
Approximately 22 million people living near roads and waterways, which will be rehabilitated and maintained, will be benefitted by this initiative

The project is also developing a comprehensive rural roads transport safety framework and is implementing sustainable enhancements to the Local Government Engineering Department’s (LGED) capacities in planning, monitoring, finance, asset management, administration and governance.

A recent review of the implementation status of the project found that progress has been made in all components of the project.   Regarding the rehabilitation and periodic maintenance of roads, a total of 114 contracts (777 km) have been awarded for about $23 million, spread out in 26 districts. Of this, 9 have already been fully completed while another 96 contracts are under implementation.

The progress related to hiring of consultants for different components is also satisfactory. The finalization of the second year implementation program for all components is well underway with the screening of the selected roads. This will include about 1800 km of Upazila and Union roads; 5 river jetties, 17 growth market centers, and a rural waterways pilot.

BBN/SSR/AD-30Dec13-1:27 pm (BST)