Foreign FIs keen to invest in Nashik Metro project: Maha Metro project: Maha Metro MD

NASHIK: Few overseas financial institutions (FIs) have shown interest in investing in the proposed Nashik Metro project. Managing Director of Maharashtra Rail Corporation Ltd (Maha Metro) Brijesh Dixit told that some foreign financial institutions are keen to provide loan for the project.

Maha Metro, a JV between Centre and Maharashtra government, is mandated to undertake all metro rail projects in the state barring Mumbai metropolitan region.

“These FIs are ready to invest in the Nashik Metro project. However, it would be the Union government that would take a call on deciding the lenders for the project,” Dixit said, refusing to reveal the identities of the foreign agencies.

The Nashik metro project, which is known as Metro Neo, is pegged to cost around Rs 2,100 crore and the Union and state governments would provide with Rs 939 crore, while the remaining Rs 1,161 crore would be the loan component.

According to Maha Metro sources, multilateral agencies could also be roped in for funding for the project. Dixit said that work for the project would begin after the Union government clears the project.

“Maha Metro is looking forward to start the work of this project in Nashik. At present, no city in the country has come up with such an innovative mass rapid transportation system project. Nashik would be the first city to have it,” he added.

The state cabinet approved the detailed project report (DPR) of Nashik Metro project on August 28 and is in the process of sending it to the Union ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA) for its nod — a mandatory move.

Under this project swanky rubber-tyred electric bus coaches would ply on two separate elevated corridors of around 32-km length having 25 stations. There would also be two feeder corridors. The buses would draw power from the overhead electric wires.

While carrying out the feasibility study of the project, Maha Metro ruled the possibility of conventional metro in Nashik as it would not be financially viable. The conventional metro projects entail huge investments, but the peak hour passenger load in Nashik is less.

Interestingly, Nashik Metro project would be the first of its kind in India where instead of conventional metro coaches buses would operate to ferry passengers. A Maha Metro official said the Nashik Metro model developed by the company was discussed on various forums.

“The Union government last month formed a committee headed by Dixit to prepare standardization of detail specifications for such rubber-tyred Mass Rapid Transportation System (MRTS) so that it can be implemented in smaller cities of the country with a population of 2-3 million,” he said.