September 20, 2015 1:38:36 am
THE STATE government is in the process of tying up with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) so that they partially fund the two elevated Metro lines – one that would connect Dahisar East with Andheri East and the other between Dahisar and DN Nagar in Andheri West. The state plans to complete the projects by 2019.
The 16.5-km Andheri East to Dahisar East line is estimated to cost Rs 4,737 crore, while the 18.6-km Dahisar-DN Nagar Line is pegged at Rs 4,994 crore. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) approved the detailed project reports for the two Metro corridors last month, and the plans are likely to come up before the state cabinet for approval this month.
A senior MMRDA official said, “We have had two or three concrete meetings with the ADB, which is keen on financing the two Metro lines. However, to fast-track the project, we are aiming at starting the civil work at the earliest, even if a formal loan agreement takes longer to be firmed up.”
The state was also considering other financing agencies such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Bank to finance the projects. The JICA has already sanctioned a loan for the 33.5-km fully-underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro. Of the total project cost of Rs 23,136 crore, JICA has agreed to provide Rs 13,235 crore at an interest rate of 1.4 per cent to be paid over 30 years, including a 10-year moratorium.
A government official said the terms ADB is offering would be as competitive as JICA’s. “The rate of interest would be about 1-1.5 per cent, and the repayment period would be around 35 years with a 10-year moratorium. The ADB’s involvement is not as much as JICA’s, giving the implementing agency more independence,” he said.
The MMRDA is likely to fund about 50 per cent of the project cost, while the rest would be tied up as a loan. Unlike in the case of the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro, MMRDA is not banking on Union government’s contribution for the projects. For the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro, the Union government has committed an equity of 10.4 per cent of the total project cost and another 4.4 per cent as subordinate debt.
The MMRDA official said, “The Central government as of now is not taking up a lot of Metro projects. Besides, we are looking at expeditious implementation. However, we might still approach the Centre for funds at a later stage.”
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