Updated: October 1, 2021 12:09:52 pm
Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Thursday approved a $356.67 million loan to the Indian government to support the expansion of the Chennai Metro.
The project, being implemented by the Chennai Metro Rail Limited, will include the construction of a new corridor from Lighthouse to Poonamalee Bypass as part of Phase 2 of metro construction.
AIIB, in a press release, said the line will “ensure seamless multimodal transport across Chennai by providing integrated access to suburban rail, bus stations and the city’s main airport.”
It also said the project would address “traffic bottlenecks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing public urban transport options.”
DJ Pandian, AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations, said, “This project is aligned with AIIB’s mandate to support high-quality and sustainable infrastructure. The improvement and integration of the transport sector in Chennai will further promote trade and economic growth.”
The bank said the project would help female passengers have better access to a “safer and convenient mode of public transportation with knock-on effects such as increased opportunities to participate in school, work and social activities.”
“The residential and commercial establishments along the new corridor will also benefit from enhanced accessibility and connectivity as well as increased economic opportunities.” it added.
The design of the project is said to have environmentally friendly features to help reduce its carbon footprint. Solar panels will be installed on the roofs of the elevated stations, and there will be dedicated spaces for bicycles and green vehicles, and signage to raise environmental awareness.
Till date, AIIB has approved 28 projects in India, amounting to a total cost of $6.7 billion. The energy and transport sectors have received the highest funding.
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