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Delhi-Meerut rapid rail system.
Delhi-Meerut rapid rail system.

India gets $500 million loan from New Development Bank for rapid rail project

  • The rapid rail project aims to build network of high-speed commuter rail lines connecting Delhi with cities in the adjoining states. The 82-kilometre Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS will be implemented in phases between the cities

NEW DELHI: Shanghai-headquartered New Development Bank (NDB) has approved $500 million in loan for funding the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut regional rapid transit system (RRTS) project, moving a step closer towards revamping public transport system and decongesting the national capital region.

The urban affairs ministry, finance ministry, National Capital Region Transport Corp. Ltd (NCRTC) and the multilateral bank signed the loan agreement on Thursday. The funds will be used to finance rolling stock, signalling system, operational structures, residences for operational staff, train control and telecommunication system, among other works.

The loan from the NDB has a tenor of 25 years with an eight-year grace period.

“The total project cost is estimated at $3,749 million, which will be financed by the NDB ($500 million), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ($500 million), Asian Development Bank ($1,049 million), Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction ($3 million), and government and other sources ($1,707 million)," the finance ministry said in a statement.

Lack of efficient options for public transport and rapid growth in vehicle traffic have made the national capital region one of the most polluted regions in the world. By 2030, NCR is projected to be the most populous urban areas in the world, which will increase pressure on housing, water supply, electricity and transport facilities, finance ministry said.

The rapid rail project aims to build network of high-speed commuter rail lines connecting Delhi with cities in the adjoining states. The 82-kilometre Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS will be implemented in phases between the cities. The trains will reduce travel time from Delhi to Meerut to less than an hour from 3-4 hours now.

“NDB funds will also be utilized for procuring signalling, telecommunication and train control system with advanced features such as automatic train operation, automatic train protection, automatic train supervision and integration with platform screen doors. The project can serve as a demonstration for developing high-capacity rapid urban transit corridors in other urban areas of India," Xian Zhu, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, NDB said.

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