KOCHI: French funding agency Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) has agreed to provide EUR 175 million (around Rs. 1,350 crore) as loan for extension of the Kochi Metro Rail from Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium to Infopark.
As per an agreement reached with the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), AFD will provide the loan for a long tenure of 25 years, at an interest rate of 1.35 percent. The normal tenure of loans for urban infrastructure is 20 years. The proposed 11.2 km extension will be completed for Rs. 2,024 crore.
“It is a matter of pride for the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) that AFD has agreed to provide funding for the project. It indicates the trust reposed by the French agency in the KMRL’s objectives and capabilities,” said KMRL managing director Elias George.
Out of the total loan amount, EUR 22 million will be set aside for works related to non-motorised transportation at 20 stations; pedestrianisation of M G Road; and junction development at Aluva, Edappally and Vyttila.
The terms and conditions of the phase-II funding were finalised at the ‘annual negotiation meeting’ held in Paris last week between the Finance Ministry, the Government of India and AFD. The meeting, which was attended by Elias George, had also reviewed the ongoing phase-I activities of the Metro project, also funded by AFD.
At the meeting, it was also decided that as a ‘very special case,’ AFD would secure all its formal ‘board’ approvals for the funding even before the Government of India according administrative sanction for the proposed extension to Kakkanad, so that no time is lost in starting the implementation. The AFD board is expected to clear the proposal by December.