Gujarat seek Prime Minister push to get JICA aid for Ahmedabad Metro

The state government hopes it happens during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forthcoming visit to Japan

अहमदाबाद Ahmedabad (ADI):  The Gujarat government has sought a push from the Modi government at the Centre for financial assistance of Rs 5,968 crore from Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), a Japan-based firm for the Metro-Link Express For Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA), the special-purpose vehicle of the Gujarat Government to implement the Ahmedabad Metro Rail project.

The state government hopes it happens during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forthcoming visit to Japan.

Sources in the government said that it is proposed that Modi will visit Japan in September. “And so, to make the demand of financial assistance for the MEGA project successful, authorities have written to the Central Government to push Gujarat government’s demand and make it fruitful. And this can be done during the upcoming Japan visit of the PM which is proposed in September,” said a source in the government.

JICA has, in the past, provided assistance to three projects of the Gujarat government. One of them was of the Forest Department in which JICA provided financial assistance of around Rs 695 crore for an afforestation project.

The other two projects which got financial assistance from JICA are from the energy sector.

During the Budget Session of the Gujarat Assembly last month, the state government had informed that till May 2014 more than Rs 587 crore was spent on the project.

The amount has been spent on assessing the feasibility of the project by carrying out surveys through consultants. The construction work for the ambitious project is yet to start; the government plans to begin it either in September or October.

The Gujarat government plans to finish the first phase of the project by 2018. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2022, the government informed the Legislative Assembly.

The estimated cost for the first phase of the project is around Rs 10,600 crore. The total estimated cost for the entire project is more than Rs 22,000 crore. The first phase of the project covers 35.2 kilometres and the demand for financial assistance of JICA to the tune of Rs 5,968 crore is for the first phase of the project.

Last year, the Gujarat government had appointed a new management of MEGA, following the resignation of the then MEGA chairman Sanjay Gupta.

This was followed by revised routes for the project and a new Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the Central Government for necessary approvals.