Agence Francaise de Developpement offers loan for Kochi Metro Phase II

Loan of 175 million euros@1.35% for 25 yrs

KOCHI: French Funding agency Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) has agreed to give a loan to the tune of 175 million euros for the Kakkanad extension of Kochi Metro at an interest rate of 1.35 per cent for a period of 25 years. The normal tenure for such loans for urban infrastructure is presently 20 years. “The offer is an indication of the funding agency’s faith in the capabilities and objectives of Kochi Metro Rail Limited”, said Elias George, managing director, KMRL.

This loan also includes a component of 22 Million Euros for non-motorised transportation works at 20 stations, making M.G. Road pedestrian-friendly and junction improvement in Aluva, Edapally and Vyttila. The seventh annual negotiation meeting between the Union Ministry of Finance and AFD was held in Paris on November 9 and 10. The meeting was attended by Mr. Elias George and Mr. S. Selvakumar, joint secretary, Ministry of Finance. The meeting reviewed the progress of Metro works and discussed the Kakkanad extension in Phase II, at an estimated cost of Rs 2,024 crore.

During the meeting, the Urban Transport Expert at the AFD headoffice termed the Kochi Metro project as the lowest cost metro rail project worldwide, while adhering to global quality standards. The AFD has also agreed to get the Kakkanad extension proposal approved by its Board of Directors even before the proposal is formally sanctioned by the Union government. This will help KMRL to ensure no time is lost in initiating the project. The proposal is waiting for the Centre’s approval. It is expected that the AFD’s Board will clear the proposal in December 2016.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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