On the occasion, KfW senior project manager Stephanie Rieger said a final agreement on the loan would likely be signed by year-end. As per the MoU, the KfW will provide external funding to the tune of Rs 580 crore (EUR 85 mln) for the project, which envisages overall development of the water transport system in the Kochi agglomeration area. The total project cost is estimated at Rs 740 crore (excluding land acquisition).
“It is for the first time an external funding agency is providing 80 per cent of the total project cost. The DPR for the project had already been approved by the State Planning Board. The Cabinet is likely to approve the DPR within two weeks. The State Government will submit the project before the Centre soon, and it is expected to be submitted before the KfW Board by month-end,” said KMRL MD Elias George.
The water transport project aims at enhancing the city’s water transport network and integrating it with the other modes of transport. Along with modernising the waterways and launching 78 advanced boats, the project will also focus on the ‘One Island One Jetty Plan’. The plan includes construction of new boat jetties, development of the existing jetties, development of the roads leading to the jetties and development of commercial spaces. The cost of land acquisition is estimated at Rs 72 crore.George said an ‘aqua wing’ would be set up at the KMRL to manage and coordinate the water transport project. “Once the loan pact is signed, we will float a global tender. We are hopeful of commencing the work early next year,” he added.
Meanwhile, Stephanie Rieger said KfW was keen on funding more infrastructure projects in India.