• A photo shows the famous "24 Zig," a zigzag road in Qinglong, rural Guizhou Province.

A photo shows the famous "24 Zig," a zigzag road in Qinglong, rural Guizhou Province. (Photo : www.http://indianquarterly.com)

Guizhou Province will become the recipient of a $150-million loan granted by the World Bank to improve village and township roads and benefit 333,000 people in southwest China, according to the press statement released by the global bank on Monday, Sept. 28.

The statement said that the new project will focus on the development of rural roads and other infrastructure in Tongren, which has a population of about 4.27 million.

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Tongren is a hilly and mountainous area with income disparities between rural and urban areas worsened by poor transport connectivity, resulting in the rural disposable income that is only 24 percent of the urban disposable income.

According to the Global Times, the region has a GDP per capita of less than $2,000 and its residents earn 25 percent below the national poverty line.

"The new project will help improve connectivity in two counties in Tongren by upgrading selected rural roads to Class IV and building rural bridges," Holly Krambeck, World Bank's senior transport specialist and task team leader for the project, said.

"These investments will reduce the travel time between rural areas and urbanized areas and increase the reliability of access," Krambeck added.

The report said that the project will be implemented in Dejiang County and Sinan County between 2015 and 2020.

In addition to road upgrades and construction of bridges, the project will also provide technical assistance and training in rural road network planning, road safety and maintenance.

The project is expected to increase the percentage of paved township roads in Dejiang and Sinan, from 34 percent to 100 percent and from 53 percent to 62 percent, respectively, the report added.