The proposed Rural Infrastructure Maintenance Program (RIMP) will focus on improving rural road rehabilitation and maintenance in selected districts of Bangladesh. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will contribute to a $1.2 billion rural road and bridge maintenance policy, and the Government of Bangladesh has requested project design advance (PDA) in the form of a loan to support preparatory activities for the RIMP.
There has been significant improvement in rural infrastructure in Bangladesh since the 1990s, however, rural connectivity remains weak which impedes physical and economic access. For example, only 40% of the rural population has access to all-weather roads, and around 33% of upazila and union roads and 84% of village roads remain unpaved. Improved economic growth has resulted in a rapid increase in road-based cargo transport in rural areas, which has aggravated poor rural road conditions. Over 40% of the rural road network is in poor condition and needs to be rehabilitated. Rehabilitation and maintenance budgets are insufficient, covering only 35% of needs, which has destabilized rural road networks. Weak construction and maintenance skills, overloading of vehicles, and extreme climate events have contributed to a significant rehabilitation and maintenance backlog. The rural road network, even under present climatic conditions, is seriously damaged during flooding and intense rainfall events.
PROJECT RATIONALE AND LINKAGE TO COUNTRY/REGIONAL STRATEGY
The RIMP is consistent with ADB's country partnership strategy, 2011- 2015 for Bangladesh, which emphasizes high-impact results, integrating climate change considerations into sector interventions, and climate-proofing infrastructure. The PDA is also included in the country operations business plan for 2016 -2018.
The RIMP is also consistent with the government's strategic agenda. The Seventh Five-Year Plan for FY2016- FY2020 of the Government of Bangladesh emphasizes developing infrastructure, and especially improving the connectivity between lagging and better-off regions. The thrust is on removing infrastructure constraints and vulnerabilities to climate change in poor regions. The RIMP will contribute to the investment program contained in the 2013 rural road and bridge maintenance policy, which has the goal of keeping all rural roads accessible year-round in a sustainable manner. The main thrusts of this policy are: (i) reducing the backlog in road maintenance, (ii) rehabilitating the roads to climate-resilient standard, (iii) improving maintenance skills and institutional capacity, (iv) establishing a comprehensive and reliable inventory of roads, bridges and culverts, (v) establishing a linkage between the inventory and geographical information system spatial database, and (vi) upgrading road and bridge maintenance standards.
Connectivity between lagging and better-off regions improved (Sixth Five-Year Plan, 2011-2015)
An estimated 131 person-months (41 international, 90 national) of consulting services are required to (i) facilitate PDA project management and implementation, and (ii) strengthen the institutional and operational capacity of the executing agency. A consulting firm will be engaged using quality- and cost-based selection method with a quality:cost ratio of 90:10.
Loan 6007-BAN: Rural Infrastructure Maintenance Program (PDA)
Concessional ordinary capital resources / Asian Development Fund US$ 2.00 million
ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM OF ADB
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Responsible ADB Officer Jones, Randall E.
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, SARD
Local Government Engineering Department
LGED Bhaban (Level 6), Agargaon
Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh