अहमदाबाद Ahmedabad (ADI): After a decade, the Ahmedabad metro rail project is finally on track. Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) has agreed to a long-term soft loan worth Rs.5900 crore. This will take care of funding for the first phase of construction.
JICA officials concluded the final assessment of the project in July-end on various technical and financial parameters. The governing body for the metro project, Metro-Express Gandhinagar Ahmedabad (MEGA), had sought a 30-year loan of Rs.5900 crore from JICA at 1.4% interest.
“The payback period starts after 10 years at 1.4% interest. The Japanese are strict about project schedules and issues like viability. We have convinced them on both counts. The project will cost Rs.10675 crore – this doesn’t include the link up to Gandhinagar. The central government will give exemptions worth Rs.3000 crore,” said a senior urban development official.
MEGA has also received a first-level clearance from the central Project Co-ordination Committee (PCC) which consists of representatives from 16 ministries. This is a critical level as the project is analyzed threadbare. “The first level of PCC scrutiny became the basis for JICA to agree to the loan. Japan’s assistance will be announced later this month when the Cabinet-level PCC makes the announcement,” adds the official.