गांधीनगर Gandhinagar (GNC): The Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) project moved forward after the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) fixed the end of July for the second and final assessment on various technical and financial parameters. The MEGA has sought a loan of Rs.5900 crore from JICA at 1.4% interest. The loan tenure will be 30 years. The JICA team conducted the first round of project appraisals on June 4.
“The JICA team was assessing the detailed project report (DPR) and checking the financial viability of the project,“ says a senior MEGA official. “The team has experts from various fields who are analyzing the project with due diligence – the investigation of a business proposition -prior to signing a contract with MEGA. This is stan dard procedure.“
The recent Union Budget had allocated Rs.100 crore for metro rail projects for Ahmedabad and Lucknow, which appeared piecemeal. Sources in the urban development department say that Ahmedabad’s share would be not more than Rs.50 crore.
The metro rail project cost is slated to be Rs.10675 crore. Sources in the MEGA say that a major portion of the funding will come from JICA, while the central government will extend exemptions worth Rs.3000 crore. “The Gujarat budget this year had allocated Rs.250 crore for the metro project which has made our corpus Rs.550 crore,“ says the MEGA official. “This is enough for our initial activities, like shifting of utilities and setting up processes. The Rs 50 crore allocation was expected as the Centre will provide tax exemptions.“