French financial agency Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) will cooperate with local bodies for Kochi Agglomeration for urban development.
Addressing the media during the project agreement signing ceremony for providing financial assistance to the Kochi Metro Rail project, AFD chief executive officer Anne Paugam said the French agency would also provide necessary technical assistance for setting up a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) for the Greater Cochin region.
“We learnt that the Kochi metro rail project will be an environment-friendly project which will have socio-economic impact. The project will provide an easy access to the city from its suburbs and will create more job opportunities. It will also help in reducing carbon emission by 44,000 tonnes annually and will further boost Kochi’s appeal as a major tourist destination in the international map,” she said.
Anne expressed the hope that the Kochi Metro Rail Limited and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation would opt for a competitive bidding process, which would ensure a cost-efficient execution of the project.
She said signing the agreement is an important milestone not only for Kochi, but also for the AFD as it is a significant contribution to improve urban transportation of Indian cities, especially Tier-II cities.
“Our motto is to facilitate green and inclusive growth and the project is in tune with our mandate. We have associated with some of the best practitioners in Brazil and China in urban mobility sector and now we have also marked our presence in India,” she said.
Railway Minister Aryadan Mohammed, who was present on the occasion, requested the support of the AFD for more infrastructure development projects, especially in power and transportation sectors, of the state.