The Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) on Saturday signed a project agreement with the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) for providing a €180 million (`1,527 crore) long-term loan for the Kochi metro (phase-1) project.
As per the agreement, the loan amount will be given to KMRL in instalments.
The first instalment of €20 million will be handed over to the KMRL by January next year.
The agreement was signed by AFD chief executive officer Anne Paugam and KMRL managing director Elias George in the presence of Minister for Power Aryadan Mohammed and French Consul Philippe Janvier Kamiyana.
The loan, which will have to be repaid in 25 years, including a five-year moratorium period, has been provided to support the KMRL to implement the first metro line in Kochi, between Aluva and Tripunithura-Petta, with 22 stations and also to strengthen the institutional framework of the Greater Kochi urban transport sector, in order to integrate all modes of transport in accordance with the spatial, social and economic development of the city.
“We are very happy that the AFD has come forward to fund and assist us in implementing this dream project of Kerala. Apart from providing funding, the AFD will also be assisting us in improving the quality and service of all urban transportation systems in the city,” Elias George said.
Earlier Anne, along with AFD officials, visited selected locations where work has been undertaken on the metro rail project, including Vyttila mobility hub, where the KMRL plans to have multi-modal transport integration. She also took a boat ride from Fort Kochi to Vyttila, to get a sense of the possibilities of water transport in the Kochi region.
Later on, she had discussions with the managing director and the functional directors of the company, regarding the progress of the project and other plans of the KMRL for improving transportation systems in the city, particularly the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) and Transport-oriented Development (TOD).