French loan for Nagpur Metro Rail in June end

Agence Francaise de DeveloppementNagpur: The Nagpur Metro Rail project is rapidly achieving financial closure with the French government agency Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) slated to sanction a 130 million euro (over 900 crore) loan in June end.

German government agency KfW has already sanctioned over 3,700 crore for the 8,640 crore project. The remaining money will be chipped in by Central and state governments, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT).

A source in Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL) said AFD’s negotiations with it and the central government were in the final stages. “The terms and conditions of the loan will be similar to that of KfW. It will be a long term loan with a moratorium of five years. The interest rate is expected to be between 1.6% and 1.7%. If the Indian rupee depreciates against Euro then the rate of interest will effectively increase for us,” he added.

The source added that the loan agreement will be signed between AFD and NMRCL in New Delhi unlike the agreement with KfW, which was signed in Nagpur. “It is a smaller loan and there will be no ceremony for it,” he added.

AFD teams have visited Nagpur several times and have expressed satisfaction with the pace of the project. NMRCL does not need to acquire much private land and this has gone in favour of it. Many metro projects in the country have been delayed due to problems in acquiring private land.

The Metro Rail project is progressing at a rapid pace with erection of piles (pillars) going on at Wardha Road near the airport. Horizontal segments of the viaduct are being pre-casted at NMRCL’s Jamtha yard. The boundary wall of the grade section in Mihan is almost complete. Consultant for designing nine metro stations has also been finalized and work is going on.

The appointment of general consultant is almost in the final stages. Two consortia led by Deutschebahn (DB) and Systra have been shortlisted and both have given their detailed presentations. Now, NMRCL and its consultant Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) need to take the final call.

There has been only a single hiccup in the project when the NMRCL had to retender the construction work of Hingna Road to Sitabuldi stretch as only one eligible bidder had remained in the first tender.

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