AFD team arrives to review Kochi Metro progress

In February last year, AFD had sanctioned a loan to tune of Rs 1,527 cr to Kochi Metro

कोची Kochi: A four member team from Agence Francaise de – Development (AFD) will visit Kochi Metro Rail office on 29th of this month.

Priscille De Coninck and Arnaud Dauphin, project managers from the sustainable and transport division (AFD Paris) will lead the mission which also includes Cheikh Dia and Gautier Kohler, project officers at the New Delhi office of AFD.

In last February, AFD had sanctioned a loan to the tune of Rs.1,527 crore to the Kochi Metro.

AFD team will review the various project components of Kochi Metro. The other objective is to introduce the new project manager in charge of Kochi metro project at AFD headquarters, Priscille de Coninck, who recently replaced Xavier Hoang.

The team will conduct a site visit and meet with main stakeholders of the project including the members of the Kochi Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (KUMTA). They are also likely to review the progress of the work, procurement plans under process and the modalities of transfer of funds.

AFD is developing a Technical Assistance program, which is expected to be launched by the end of this year with the assistance of French Embassy in India on a grant basis amounting to 800,000 Euros. The mission would discuss about the content and the implementation structure of the technical assistance program, which will mainly based on the Kochi UMTA roadmap and the KMRL operation and maintenance strategy.

It will also review the various study under progress like environmental and social impact analysis study, Traffic Oriented Development (TOD) study and Rehabilitation and Resettlement policy.

‘KMRL is pleased to welcome the newly inducted Task Manager, Priscille De Coninck. This is the second mission of AFD after signing the loan agreement. We are hopeful that the team will finalise proposals for technical assistance and also explore further funding possibilities for urban transportation in the Kochi region, said Elias George, Managing Director, KMRL.

Kochi Metro had got sanction to avail external borrowings up to Rs. 2,170 crore. Canara Bank has recently signed an agreement to extend an assistance to the tune of Rs 1,170 crore.

The total estimated cost for Kochi Metro is Rs 5,180 crore and the first phase is scheduled to be completed by 2016. The first phase will have 22 stations and have a system length of 26 Kms. The State is expected to pool in Rs 2,009 crore (including land acquisition cost) and the Centre Rs 1,002 crore. Both central and state government will extend financial support through capital investment.