European Investment Bank signs agreement to invest Rs 4,800 crore in Pune metro project
The Pune Metro project got a major boost on Friday. In a meeting chaired by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (Maha-Metro) signed a loan agreement of Rs 1,600 crore for the Pune Metro project. EIB, European Union’s (EU) lending institution, had agreed to lend a total of Rs 4,800 crore for the project in three tranches at an interest rate of 0.35%. On Thursday, EIB officials had conducted a site visit of the on-going metro work in Pune.
Thackeray said the loan will immensely benefit in accelerating the work for the Pune Metro project. He also requested EIB to fund the Nashik Metro project and other infrastructure works in the state.
Funds from EIB will mainly be utilised to finance the civil works of the underground section and the depot, officials said. The 32.5-km-long Pune Metro corridor has been divided into four ridges. Of this, the 5km-long route between Shivajinagar and Swargate will be underground. Officials said 37% of the civil works have been completed until now.
Along with EIB, Maha-Metro had also roped in French Development Agency (AFD) – France’s public financial institution – to fund the Rs 11,420-crore project. AFD will invest Rs 1,012 crore in the Pune Metro project.
MMRDA to study Metro-5 alignment again
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is looking to realign the Metro-5 (Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan) project, owing to demands made by the locals. RA Rajeev, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said the portion between Bhiwandi and Kalyan will be studied again. “There have been demands to cover more areas via the metro. We will study the Bhiwandi-Kalyan portion again,” Rajeev said.
Last week, urban development minister Eknath Shinde had also directed the officials to undertake a fresh survey. MMRDA has already started work between the Thane and Bhiwandi sections. As the plan of the Metro route was chalked out, there has been a continuous demand to reroute the line from Durgadi to Adharwadi chowk and from Khadakpada to Birla College.