French agency ‘AFD’ may give Soft Loan for Nagpur Metro rail

नागपुर Nagpur (NGP): French organization Agence Francais de Developpement (AFD) may give a soft loan for Nagpur metro railway project. Three AFD officials had come to Nagpur to evaluate the viability of the project, on Monday. On Tuesday, they met Principal Secretary (Urban Development) to know how state government will facilitate the project and what will be the funds sharing equation. Some technical issues were also discussed.

The AFD team will now send a report to their head office in Paris. The urban transport and finance wings will determine how much soft loan is to be given.

Harshadeep Kamble, chairman of Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), said that the French officials were given a presentation on various aspects of the project. “We told them only around 50% of our project will come from tickets. Another source will be sale of extra floor to space index (FSI) on a premium. This will be FOR 500 metres on either side of the metro railway track. Advertisement will contribute to the remaining 50% of non-tickets sources,” he said.

According to Kamble, most public transport even in developed countries don’t reach the break even point and have to subsidized by the government. “The impressive Delhi Metro’s 90% share comes from sale of tickets and so its finance is in good shape,” the chairman said.

The French team – Aude Flogny (India head), Priesille de Connick (Project manager of transport) and Juliette Le Pannerer – sought information on land acquisition.

This team was taken to Mihan the adjoining SEZ and explained how the metro railway will become successful. “Those living in the city but working in Mihan will use the facility. Similarly the east-west corridor will also use it.

The French team inspected the cross over point near Munje Square in detail. Chairman, municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane, SH Gujjelwar and the technical officers explained the mechanism in detail.

Even as the centre is sending teams to Nagpur the project, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, after holding meetings on city issues, has not taken the time to clear the pending final proposal. Due to minority government, he is busy trying to salvage a consensus regarding ministries that Sena is demanding but BJP is not ready to give.

The file to set up special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the Nagpur rail is pending at CM’s office. After SPV is formed, NIT will be the nodal agency for metro. SPV will float tenders for appointing an agency that will suggest ways to complete it as fast possible.