Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-World Bank provided Bangladesh with US$ 302 million support to implement a project to improve the rural roads network sustainably.
The project titled “Second Bangladesh Rural Transport Improvement Project (RTIP II)’ aims to help rural communities with improved access to social and economic facilities and services such as schools, hospitals, markets, financial institutions and jobs.
Nearly 22 million rural people of Bangladesh will be benefited from RTIP II’s interventions, said a press statement of the WB on Wednesday.
The project improves and maintains roads, growth center markets and waterways.
The project also builds the capacity of government institutions to better manage rural transport infrastructure, the statement added.
Under the project, around 5,250 km of union and upazila roads and 50 growth center markets in 26 districts will be improved and maintained.
So far, the project has completed maintenance work of 1,629 km of roads which is 64 per cent of the target.
Moreover contract has been signed for 2,769 km of roads.
The project pilots the performance-based maintenance contracting (PBMC) method and the low-cost restoration of rural waterways.
To date, initial repair of 114 km roads have been completed; contract on-going of 184 km and procurement process on-going of 102km projecting 45 per cent progress of the target of 203 km.
The PBMC pilot aims to bring a positive shift in the road maintenance approach.
The rural waterways pilot will provide better connectivity to the poor and isolated rural communities having limited or no access to roads and to waterways.
The project is likely to achieve all its targets, albeit a few hurdles remain.
Recently, RTIP II is showing improving trends in all areas of implementation.
As of August 2015, 3,583km road contracts have been signed under the project’s Accessibility Improvement component.
The institutional strengthening, capacity building and governance enhancement component has also progressed well and most of the consultants are also on board.
The project’s disbursements are getting back on track.
So far RTIP II has disbursed approximately one fourth of the total funds.
The project is also developing a comprehensive rural roads transport safety framework.
The framework comprises road safety standards and raising road safety awareness by involving primary school teachers. The project aims to enhance capacities of the implementing agency, Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), in planning, monitoring, finance, asset management, administration and governance.
The project has been using electronic government procurement (e-GP) system for all procurement activities for ensuring efficiency, transparency and competitiveness in the procurement process.