The European Investment Bank (EIB), European Union’s (EU) lending institution, has agreed to invest around Rs 4,800 crore in the Pune Metro project in the Indian state of Maharashtra. EU has agreed to lend a total of Rs 4,800 crore for the project in three tranches at an interest rate of 0.35%
In a meeting chaired by Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) last week, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (Maha-Metro) signed a initial loan agreement of Rs 1,600 crore for the Pune Metro project
EIB’s funding will finance the construction of two new metro lines in pune and the procurement of 102 modern metro cars.
The Government of India expects the Pune Metro to reduce the travel time for the approximately three million residents of the city.
Spanning 32.5-km, the Pune metro system includes overground and underground rail tracks with 30 stations.Construction work on two Metro corridors in Pune – Line 1 from PCMC to Swargate (16.58 km) and Line 2 Vanaz to Ramwadi (14.66 km) – is also currently underway. The East-West Line 1 costing Rs 7,628 crore is expected to be ready by 2022, while the North-South Line 2 costing Rs 3,894 crore is scheduled for completion in 2021
The Pune Metro corridor has been divided into four ridges. Of this, the 5km-long route between Shivajinagar and Swargate will be underground.
Officials said 37% of the civil works have been completed until now.
A 23-km long third metro line in Pune between Hinjewadi and Shivajinagar, connecting the bustling information technology (IT) hub with the crowded Shivajinagar, is currently underway at a cost Rs 8,313 crores. The metro project is being implemented by the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMDRA) on a public-private partnership basis.
The third line comprises of 23 stations between Hinjewadi to Shivajinagar and was the first Metro based on a public-private partnership (PPP) after the new Metro policy was rolled out by the Union government in 2016. The construction commenced by June 2019 and is expected to be complete in three years.
EIB vice-president Andrew McDowell said: “Pune metro rail will improve the living conditions of three million people in Pune. It will enable more accessible and affordable access to workplaces, healthcare, education and markets while protecting the environment and improving the quality of air in the city.
“This is a good example of how international cooperation and local know-how can make tangible improvement for people and businesses alike, and at the same time, contributes to climate action and protection of the environment. I am very proud to see cooperation between Europe and India growing through projects like this.”
EIB has also supported the metro projects in Bhopal, Bangalore and Lucknow. Along with this investment in Pune, EIB has invested a total amount of €2bn in India.
Along with EIB, Maha-Metro had also roped in French Development Agency (AFD) – France’s public financial institution – to fund the Rs 11,420-crore project. AFD will invest Rs 1,012 crore in the Pune Metro project.
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