Monday September 24, 2018

Sri Lanka gets World Bank loan for safer roads project

Sep 29, 2017 12:46 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT – The World Bank will give Sri Lanka a $125 million loan for a new project that will deliver better and safer roads in which contractors are paid based on performance.

“The Road Development Authority will monitor the contractor and make payment based on the delivery of safe roads free of pot holes, water logging, with shoulders, drainage, and lighting that are well maintained and comfortable for the road users,” said Amali Rajapaksa, World Bank Senior Infrastructure Specialist and Task Team Leader. 

“These types of contracts will benefit the government, contractors and the general public by saving costs and serving as a model that could be adopted by many other sectors in the future.”

The loan for the new Transport Connectivity and Asset Management Project is provided by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s grant and low-interest arm, with a maturity of 25 years that includes a grace period of five years.

The project also supports a program financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The RDA is the lead implementing agency.

The World Bank said Sri Lanka is joining other countries in moving from a traditional approach to road infrastructure and maintenance which pays the contractor based on progress, to a new approach based on contractor performance.

“This approach will create incentives for better quality and timely interventions which will provide the public with better maintained roads at a lower cost to the government,” a statement said.

 “Maximizing quality and minimizing costs of the island-wide road network will no doubt become a model project of the Road Development Authority,” said Pswarayi-Riddihough.  “Better and safer roads will benefit all Sri Lankans and contribute to the country’s prosperity and poverty reduction.”

A dense network makes roads the preferred mode of transportation in Sri Lanka, carrying 95 percent of passenger traffic and 98 percent of freight, the World Bank said.

Building on the lessons from the World Bank-supported Roads Sector Assistance Project, the new project will help strengthen the RDA by focusing on the institutional and system changes that can transform the authority from a provider of infrastructure to a service provider, it said.

“The contracting approach to be piloted in the project aims to improve construction quality, minimize delays and costs, and address the issue of poor-performing contractors.”

The project will be implemented on the section between Ja-Ela and Chilaw on National Road A003. The contractor will carry out the design, upgrading, rehabilitation, and maintenance under a long-term contract.
(COLOMBO, Sept 29, 2017)


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