The Hindu : Today's Paper News : More Kerala roads to go world-class State to get a loan of Rs.1,356 crore from World Bank for upgrading 367-km road in stretches World-class riding comfort awaits people moving through 367 km of State highways with Kerala all set to get a soft loan of Rs.1,356 crore from the World Bank. A World Bank mission will arrive in the capital on February 9 to finalise the aide-memoire for the loan which is to fund the second phase of the Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP). Besides improving the riding comfort, the goal is to enhance safety and thereby reduce accidents. To be led by World Band Senior Transport Economist Simon D. Ellis, the 11-member â€˜Identification Mission' during their seven-day stay here will review the project design, project components and readiness of engineering design, bidding documents, and social and environmental documents. The team will also come up with a project preparation plan and a timetable for project processing, official sources told The Hindu . The phase II of the KSTP is estimated to cost Rs.1,356 crore. The debt-service mechanism proposed is annuity basis through State budget allocation annually. Civil works upgradation, road safety, institutional strengthening of the Public Works Department, and sustainable environment management are the key elements of the second phase. Arnab Bandyopadhyay, Senior Transport Engineer, South Asia Region, Sustainable Development Unit India Country Office; Ernesto Sanchez-Triana, Lead Environmental Specialist; Sangeeta Kumari, Social Development Specialist; Dominic Pasquale Patella, Transport Specialist, and Krishnan Srinivasan, Consultant, Governance Specialist, are in the team. Mr. Ellis, accompanied by Mr. Bandyopadhyay, was here in December last for the pre-mission talks with Public Works Minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju and top officials. Work before monsoon The State would be able to commence work once the aide-memoire is obtained. Sources said the aim was to start the work before the onset of the monsoon as the World Bank would refund the money to the State later. The State submitted the project report for the phase II two years ago and since then had been knocking at the doors of the World Bank. The State was trying to include five-year maintenance contracts also for the 367 km State highway stretches being developed. The stretches identified include Kasaragod-Kanhangad; Pilathara- Pappinissery; Thalassery-Valampara; Perumpilavu-Perinthalmanna (Nilambur Road); Changanassery-Muvattupuzha; and Punalur-Thodupuzha (PM Road). Over 95 per cent land acquisition for the second phase had been completed during phase one of the KSTP and the DPR needed to be updated now. In the KSTP phase I initiated with World Bank aid in 2002, around 257 km of roads across the State was upgraded. Another 41 km was also taken up under road maintenance contract at a cost of Rs.180 crore. Along with this, additional heavy maintenance of some stretches had been taken up.