The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a $120-million project to improve and modernize the transport sector of Meghalaya, which would help the state to harness its vast growth potential for high-value agriculture and tourism.

The Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project (MITP) will improve about 300 km of strategic road segments and stand-alone bridges by using innovative, climate-resilient and nature-based solutions.

The segments will serve major agriculture areas, important tourist destinations, small-scale industries, major towns and underserved populations by linking them to markets, health and education centres, and national and international corridors. It will also support innovative solutions such as precast bridges to reduce both time and cost of construction.

It is to be mentioned that about half of the 5,362 habitations in Meghalaya, lack transport connectivity. Difficult hilly terrain, extreme climatic conditions, and high and frequent rains, make Meghalaya’s transport challenges particularly complex.

The operation will support the state’s government “Restart Meghalaya Mission” to revive and boost development activities affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will help restore transport services for the movement of agricultural produce, improve access to health facilities during COVID-19 type medical emergencies, benefit about 5 lakh inhabitants, and generate direct employment of about 8 million person-days.