ADB to fund Delhi-Meerut rapid rail link, 4 metro projects

Source: The Hindu Business Line, May 01, 2019

Nadi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has given in-principle nod for financing four metro rail projects and a ₹30,000-crore rapid rail corridor between Delhi and Meerut as part of its efforts to improve urban transport system in India.

Simultaneous discussions are going on with other multi-lateral funding agencies for co-financing of these large urban transport projects including Bhopal and Indore Metro projects, ADB Director-General (South Asia) Hun Kim said on Wednesday.

In addition, other projects especially expansion of Chennai and Bengaluru Metro are also under consideration, he said at the Annual Meet of ADB here.

“ADB has in-principle agreed to finance these projects with the Centre, which is the guarantor. It depends on the client. If they complete the formalities, we’re ready to go (for final approval from the board),” he said.

ADB has funded Jaipur Metro and expansion of Mumbai Metro in the past.

On rapid rail project between Delhi and Meerut (in Uttar Pradesh), Kim said Regional Rapid Transport System (RRTS) is a huge project and ADB is looking to co-finance with other multi-lateral funding agencies including Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Government approval

Earlier this year, the government approved construction of a ₹30,274 crore worth RRTS to connect the national capital with Meerut through Ghaziabad (in Uttar Pradesh). The 82-km stretch will be covered in less than 60 minutes.

The RRTS is a first-of-its-kind rail-based, high-speed regional transit system to be implemented in India. Once operational, it will be the fastest, most comfortable and safest mode of commuter transport in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Kim emphasised that financing logistics projects will also be a priority for the bank. “We want to be a bank for logistics,” he said, pointing to the Vizag-Chennai and the Chennai-Kanyakumari industrial corridors where the ADB is involved in financing preparation of the master plan.

TN — major client

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu is emerging as a major “client” of the bank, he said, adding the bank is planning to lend $500 million each for energy projects and the Chennai Metro Phase II.

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