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Delhi projects may feel Japan tremors

delhi Updated: Mar 16, 2011 00:53 IST

The 9-magnitude earthquake, followed by tsunami, in Japan has made the fate uncertain for some key infrastructure projects in the Capital, as they depend largely on loans from the Japanese government.

For instance, Delhi Metro's ambitious Phase-3 expansion plan and the Yamuna Action Plan-3 heavily depend on loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that acts as that government's vehicle for loans and grants.

But since Credit Suisse pegged the economic loss that Japan had to incur at $183 billion — roughly 60% of India's total foreign exchange reserves — Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said, "Naturally, they (Japanese) would re-evaluate the whole thing. Let us wait for that."

A senior Delhi Jal Board official also said on the condition of anonymity: "It may be too early. But we do anticipate some reassessment of the loan amounts in the coming months."

Last month, Japan extended a loan package of Rs 2,556 crore to three projects.

The projects included Himachal Pradesh Crop Diversification Promotion Project and Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project.

It also agreed to extend the "soft loan" agreement to YAP-3 for a little more than R1,800 crore. Not just that, sources said JICA had agreed in principle to provide R11,200 crore - 40% of Rs 28,000-crore third phase of Delhi Metro expansion project.

JICA provided Rs 6,342.6 crore for the first phase - 60% of the R10,571-crore project - to build a 65-km network. For the second phase, JICA provided R8,880 crore — 49% of the Rs18,000-crore project cost.

JICA officials in India did not have a clear answer either. "We are not aware of the future action of the Japanese government," said Mymo Sato, a JICA representative in India. "We have not yet been asked to stop our activities here."