The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) on Friday said the public investment board (PIB) has committed to provide almost Rs1,034 crore of the funds required for the under-construction Noida to Greater Noida Metro link. Officials are upbeat as financial issues for this 30-km metro project are now resolved.
Santosh Yadav, managing director of NMRC, and Pramod Kumar Aggarwal, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Noida authority, met with PIB officials in Delhi on Friday to get the final approval for funds.
“The PIB’s commitment on funding and approval for our project is a big achievement for our metro link, which will not face financial hurdles in future,” said Yadav.
The NMRC had applied for approval from PIB, a Central government body that clears funds for important infrastructure projects in the country, in October 2013.
“Now, the Centre will start releasing funds of Rs1,034 crore in small instalments as per our needs. The first instalment of Rs384 crore will be released in the ongoing financial year 2016-17, Rs400 crore in financial year 2017-18 and remaining amount will be released in the financial year 2018-19,” said Yadav.
The NMRC has set a budget of Rs 5,533 crore for this project that will link Greater Noida with rest of Delhi-NCR. The corporation, which was formed in November 2014 to build metro projects, aims to take almost half of the funds required from Central government agencies.
The remaining funds are to be provided by the Noida and Greater Noida authorities together. Work on the project was started in January 2015 and the metro line is scheduled to become functional by the end of 2017.
The metro link will branch out from Noida’s Sector 71/51 interchange and end at Greater Noida’s Delta 1. The metro stations will be located in sectors 52, 51, 50, 78, 81, Dadri Road, sectors 83, 137, 142, 143, 144, 147, 153, 149, Knowledge Park 2, Knowledge Park 1, Pari Chowk, Alpha 1, Alpha 2, Delta 1 and Depot station, benefiting nearly 15 lakh people. Around 20 km of the line is located in Noida and remaining 10 km in Greater Noida.
NCR planning body to also add ₹1,587 crore
The NMRC on Friday said that the commitment from PIB of Rs. 1,034 crore for the 30-km Noida to Greater Noida Metro link was crucial for the project to be eligible for other financial aid from the Centre.
“PIB’s approval means that the National Capital Region planning board (NCRPB) will now release Rs. 1,587 crore in financial aid to our metro link. The NCRPB had on January 19 agreed to fund our project subject to the condition that the PIB approves the project. Since we have now got the approval, NCRPB will begin releasing the funds,” said Santosh Yadav, managing director, NMRC.
On January 19, the NCPRB had said it will provide loan assistance of Rs. 1,587 crore for the Rs. 5,533-crore Noida-Greater Noida metro project, subject to PIB’s green signal to the project.
The metro line connects City Junction in Sector 71 to Depot station in Sector 142. Of this line, 70% will run through Noida, meeting the rising demand for public transport.
The PIB has members from nine ministries, including railways, urban development, home and finance, among others.
“In the next two to three days, the PIB will release minutes of the October 14 meeting. Once we have these minutes of the meeting, we will send them to NCRPB. Subsequently, the planning board will begin releasing funds out of the Rs. 1,587 crore sanctioned,” said Yadav.
As per the plan already submitted to the NCRPB, it will release ₹580 crore in instalments in financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18. “The remaining funds will be provided in the financial year 2018-19,” said Yadav.
The cash-rich Noida authority has been funding the project till now. The cash-strapped Greater Noida authority, which also has to contribute its share to the project, has been providing financial help by taking loans from banks and the Noida authority.
“PIB’s commitment and the subsequent NCRPB contribution to funds will benefit the Noida authority in a big way. Now, the project will not depend on the Noida authority completely because the Centre will also provide financial support,” said Pramod Kumar Aggarwal, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Noida authority.