The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has now cleared a major financial hurdle on the path of constructing Metro routes 2A and 7 in the city. After initial hiccups, the state government has now agreed to be the guarantor for the authority to obtain loans from international banks.
“The state government has now agreed that the loan for Metro 2B and 7 can be routed through them. The loan will be given to the Centre, who will transfer it to the state and from them it will be passed on to us,” said Metropolitan
Commissioner, MMRDA, U P S Madan.
Earlier, the state government had refused to be the guarantor for obtaining loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to procure rolling stock, including trains, tracks, signalling systems among others, for the two Metro lines.
According to the Centre’s regulations, the MMRDA is not allowed to directly borrow funds. But now that the state government has changed its mind, the loan procedure will gather steam.
“Now the state government will formally write to the Central govt that they are ready to take the loan through their books. Once that happens, the further process of sanctioning the loan will be expedited,”
With a deadline set for March 2019 for both the Metro corridors, the civil work should be completed by the end of the year and the tenders for the rolling stock should have been issued by this time.
As soon as the loan assistance issue is resolved, the MMRDA will invite bids for the rolling stock.
The 18.5-km Metro 2A connecting Dahisar to DN Nagar is estimated to cost Rs 6,410 crore while the 16.5-km Metro 7 connecting Dahisar East to Andheri East will cost Rs 6,208 crore.
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