Project achieves financial closure in record 18 months
Nagpur Metro, on Thursday, secured a credit of Euro 130 million (Rs 975 crore) from French Development Agency AFD, achieving financial closure of the project. The signing ceremony of the Euro Credit Facility Agreement took place between Government of India through Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and AFD in the DEA office at Union Finance Ministry, in North Block, Delhi.
The Credit Facility Agreement was signed between Selvakumar, Joint Secretary of DEA, and Nicolas Fornage, AFD Regional Director for South Asia, in presence of Alexandre Ziegler, French Ambassador. Brijesh Dixit, Managing Director of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL); Janardan Prasad, Director, Metro Rail Project Department, Union Urban Development Ministry; and Ramnath Subramaniam, Executive Director (Strategic Planning), NMRCL, also were present on this occasion.
Subsequent to this, a separate project agreement would be signed between AFD and NMRCL in Nagpur at a mutually convenient date. With the Credit Facility Agreement signed on Thursday, Nagpur Metro Rail project that was incorporated in February 2015 and commenced civil works in May 2015, achieved financial closure in a record 18 months.
The 20-year credit with a moratorium of five years, will be used for funding signalling, telecommunication, automatic fare collection systems, lifts and escalators, an official release stated. Already, the order for rolling stock has been placed and tendering of other packages for power supply, traction systems, signaling, telecommunication, and automatic fare collection system are in advanced stages.
In April 2016, Government of India had signed a loan agreement with KfW Germany for 500 million Euros (approximately Rs. 3,750 crore) for Nagpur Metro Rail project. Yet another agreement is expected to be signed between NMRCL and KfW Bank of Germany very soon.
Speaking on this occasion of signing of Credit Facility Agreement on Thursday, French Ambassador Alexandre Zeigler said that they were happy to provide financial assistance to Nagpur Metro Rail project, while expressing confidence that actual implementation of metro rail in the city would strengthen transport system of Nagpur. Stating that France supported climate change mitigation, Ziegler said that Nagpur metro transportation based on solar energy received top preference from AFD. Ziegler also hoped that the agreement would help in further strengthening of Indo-French ties.
Brijesh Dixit said that the agreement would further expedite the Metro Rail project and help it get completed in time. The work of Nagpur Metro Rail project is on the path of progress and about 20 per cent of its work has been completed so far. About two-thirds of total power required for transportation of Metro Rail in Nagpur is going to be generated using solar power. He said that this was the first Metro Rail project of its kind in India. This would help in saving huge amount of power. Advanced global technology has been used for Nagpur Metro Rail project, he said. Proper security and safety measures also have been taken. He thanked Maharashtra Government, Union Urban Development Ministry, DEA, and AFD for the agreement.