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French aid for Bengaluru Metro: Rs 1,504 crore as soft loan

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Bengaluru: In a bid to speed up the already delayed sate-run Bengaluru Metro rail project, a French development agency on Friday announced 200-million euro (Rs1,504 crore) as soft loan for its second phase.

Financing the Metro rail project was part of the credit facility agreement Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) signed with the Indian government in New Delhi on September 3.

www.afd.fr
www.afd.fr

Paris-based AFD is a public development finance institution, which implements the French government’s policies and supports projects that improve living conditions, boost economic growth and protect the planet through a network of 71 agencies the world over.

“The new funding is in addition to the 110-million euros we gave in 2012 for the project’s first phase,” AFD regional director (South Asia) Nicolas Fornage told reporters after signing an agreement with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola here.

The second phase project, estimated to cost a whopping Rs 26,405 crore at the 2011-12 price level for extending the 42 km first phase by an additional 72 km, was approved by the previous (UPA-2) government on January 30, 2014.

According to Kharola, the loan repayment will be over 15 years at interest rate linked to Euro inter-bank offered rate.

www.prokerala.com
www.prokerala.com

“The Metro rail project is aimed at improving the public transport system in the city, which has grown rapidly over the last two decades on IT boom and influx of people from all over the country,” Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on the occasion.

Of the estimated cost, the central government would provide Rs 5,281 crore and the state government Rs 8,983 crore, while the remaining amount would be raised through debt from multilateral or bilateral funding agencies like AFD and JICA and Indian financial institutions.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had also contributed to the project’s first phase, while the Asian Development Bank has agreed to grant a $250 million (Rs165 crores) loan for the second phase.

The second phase is expected to be taken up in 2017 after the first phase, which is three years behind schedule, with its cost escalating to over Rs 12,000 crore from Rs 8,000 crore in 2008.

As the country’s third biggest city and hub of the new economy, Bengaluru has about one crore denizens, with 55 lakh vehicles and a floating population of 15-20 lakh daily.

“The Metro network across the expanded city will ease traffic congestion, reduce pollution and promote low-carbon mobility,” AFD said in a statement.

French consul-general Francois Gautier was also present on the occasion.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Microsoft completes renewable energy deal for Bengaluru facility

This deal is part of the Karnataka government's programme to encourage investments in local solar energy operations

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Microsoft's new Surface products include 1st-ever headphones. Wikimedia Commons
  • Microsoft completed its first renewable energy deal in India
  • The deal took place in Bengaluru
  • The deal took place to encourage investments in local solar energy operations

Microsoft on Tuesday said it completed its first renewable energy deal in India which will help power its new office building here with solar power.

As part of the deal, the tech giant will purchase three megawatts of solar-powered electricity from Bengaluru-based renewable power producer Atria Power.

The deal took place in India's IT hub, Bengaluru.
The deal took place in India’s IT hub, Bengaluru.

This will meet 80 percent of the projected electricity needs at the new facility, Microsoft said.

“Investing in local solar energy to help power our new Bengaluru office building is good for Microsoft, good for India and good for the environment,” said Anant Maheshwari, President.

This deal is part of the Karnataka government’s programme to encourage investments in local solar energy operations, and in line with the larger Indian government goal to ramp up solar power generation to 100 gigawatts by 2022.

Also Read: Microsoft’s Dublin office comes up with LED waterfall and digital lake

“We are proud to be deepening our long history of partnership and investment in India with this agreement. This deal will help us grow sustainably and supports the growth of the Indian solar energy industry, so that the entire country can more easily and reliably access clean electricity,” Maheshwari added.

This is Microsoft’s first solar energy agreement in India, and one of the first in Asia — the company completed a new solar agreement in Singapore last week.

This deal is a part of encouraging use of renewable energy. Pixabay
This deal is a part of encouraging the use of renewable energy. Pixabay

Once completed, this project will bring MS’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to nearly 900 megawatts.

“Microsoft, like India, has ambitious commitments to use more renewable energy,” said Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft. IANS