Pune Metro project, undertaken by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha-Metro), is set to secure financing from the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank to the tune of €600 million.
Maha-Metro, an SPV created by the Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra (both have 50 per cent each in the SPV) earlier this year by reconstituting Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (NMRCL), oversees metro projects in Nagpur and Pune.
The total sanctioned cost of the Pune metro project is ₹11,400 crore with debt component of 58 per cent. The EIB loan, the agreement for which has already been signed, according to Brijesh Dixit, Managing Director of Maha-Metro , will cover most of the project’s requirement in external financing that is estimated at €840 million.
A source in EIB said although the bank is actively reviewing a number of urban metro projects across India, at this stage, no formal decision on Pune has been taken by the authorities. “To date, the Bank has signed financing agreements for €450 million with Lucknow Metro and is expecting to approve a second financing operation for another major Indian city metro project in the near future,” he added.
EIB sanctioned €450 million for the first metro line in Lucknow in 2016.
According to Dixit, one more co-funding agency is expected to come on board of Pune metro project once talks with EIB progress.
“Maybe, it will be one of the two agencies currently financing the Nagpur project,” Dixit said. For the ₹8,680-crore Nagpur Metro, construction of which started in May 2015, Maha-Metro raised €500 million from Germany’s KfW and €130 million from AFD (French Development Agency). The funding will be used for procurement of rolling stock, cars, electricity supply, traction and other infrastructure facilities.
The rolling stock ordered from China’s CRRC Corporation will arrivein Nagpur shortly, Dixit said, while the trials of the first section of the metro line will start in one or two months. “Nagpur metro by now has completed over 40 per cent in one stretch which is a 5.5-km section. The progress is more than 90 per cent,” Dixit added.
Both Nagpur and Pune metro will utilise the stations’ roof space for setting up rooftop solar power stations. According to Dixit, the solar installation in Nagpur will provide 14 MWT of energy initially with potential to increase it to 25 MWT in future, while in Pune, the solar power generation will increase from 18 MWT at the beginning to 39 MWT at the later stage.
Maha-Metro head is exploring various ways of monetising the footfall and eyeball in both the metro projects by creating world-class stations with commercial activities in and around them.
“In Nagpur, we will have some really iconic station buildings and we’re getting good enquiries from businesses who want to set up shop there,” Dixit said.
For example, Nagpur’s Zero Mile station is planned as a 20-storey building with metro platform located at the fourth floor, with car parking, car and pedestrian transit zone below and office spaces above.
“We have been given the status of the planning authority by the state government, so we will be able to make the best use of the space,” Dixit said.
Maha-Metro is also planning to use the depot land it was allocated for developing two “metro cities” — townships created around metro depot and, hence, metro stations.
This itself, according to Dixit, could create 50,000 captive ridership for the metro. The estimated daily ridership for Nagpur metro is 3,5 lakhs and for Pune metro, by 2021, 5 lakhs. According to Dixit, the ridership will keep increasing along with the city growth and metro expansion.