Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) expresses interest in Lucknow Metro

Lucknow (LKO): After renowned financial agencies like JICA and World Bank expressing interest in financing the city’s metro-rail project, it is now the turn of French financing institution Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) to explore funding opportunities for the project.

AFD’s Director for India and Regional Director for South Asia, Aude Slogny visited the city on Monday to get a preliminary idea about the project. Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) officials apprised her of the project including proposed sites of the two corridors- North-South and East-West, and their technical and financial aspects.

LMRC officials said, “The French development financing agency will send a mission on March 24 again to the city to survey the construction sites and prepare a report on the project. Once the team is satisfied with our project, we can look forward to the project’s funding by the foreign agency.” LMRC said AFD has already funded some key metro projects of the country like in Kochi, Bangalore and Chennai.

Apart from AFD, other prominent foreign loaning agencies are also being considered by the Department of Economic Affairs, Finance Ministry, GOI to extend loan to the city’s metro project. The prominent agencies like World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), KfW Development Bank of Germany, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development carry rich experience in giving technical and financial assistance to development projects across many countries.

State government of UP needs almost 60% of the project’s funding through some external loaning agency. The project’s cost would be borne by the Centre, state government and foreign agency in 20:20:60 ratio. Officials said the loan from foreign loaning agency will be repaid over next 30 years, hence it is very important that the project gets completed in a time-bound manner.