CHENNAI: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Friday released Rs 1,180 crore to facilitate construction of underground section of the first phase of Chennai Metro Rail project.
JICA extended Official Development Assistance Loan (ODA) of 19,981 million Japanese yen (approximately Rs 1,180 crore) for construction of underground tunnels, rail tracks, electrical, telecommunication and signalling systems, procurement of trains and consultancy service.
With the signing of this loan agreement for Chennai Metro Project, the cumulative loan amount provided by JICA for metro projects in India (including Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai and Ahmedabad metros) has exceeded 1 trillion Japanese yen (approximately Rs 59,071 crores). The agreement was signed between Takema Sakamoto, chief representative, JICA India Office and S Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Union Ministry of Finance.
Chennai Metro Rail sources told Express that the underground section was likely to be completed by the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018. Once completed, the Chennai metro project is expected to have over 260 train trips in either direction each day, JICA sources said, adding that they would also be funding the phase I extension as well as the second phase, provided they get the proposal from Union government. “We are ready to fund the second phase and the phase I extension,” said the JICa source while refusing to give any time-frame.
The JICA has till now extended 130,293 million Japanese yen (approx Rs 7,697 crore) in concessional ODA loans over three tranches since 2008 for development of a 45-km metro rail system in Chennai. By adding this loan, the cumulative loan amount for Chennai Metro Project becomes JPY 150,274 million (approx Rs 8,877 crore).
Chennai Metro Rail has till now spent about Rs 11,000 crore of the total estimated cost of Rs 14,600 crore for the first phase of project and the estimates could be possibly revised next financial year.