Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 19
The Centre on Thursday signed a $ 500 million (Rs 3,700 crore) loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB) for funding one of its rapid rail transport corridors in the NCR.
Earlier in September, the Centre had taken another loan of $ 500 million to fund the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut rapid rail transport system (RRTS) corridor.
The government also plans to borrow from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Both NDB and AIIB are headquartered in China.
The loan agreement was signed from the NDB side by its Chief Operations Officer Xian Zhu.
The loan will finance the rolling stock, signaling system, operational structures, residences for operational staff, train control and telecommunication system and other miscellaneous works of the corridor.
The 82 km Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor with a project cost of Rs 30,274 crore will be co-financed under a parallel financing arrangement with these multilateral lending institutions.
The elevated corridor will have 24 stations, and of the 82 km distance, 11.5 km will be underground.
Civil construction work is in progress on more than 50 km of this 82 km long corridor, according to an official news release.
The 17-km long priority section between Sahibabad and Duhai is scheduled to commence operations in 2023 and the entire corridor will be operational in 2025.
Three corridors are enlisted in the first phase – Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut, Delhi-Gurugram-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat. They will converge at Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi and will be interoperable, read the release.
The RRTS stations will be seamlessly integrated with nearby transport modes such as Metro Stations, ISBTs, railway stations, and airports. This clean and green rail-based system will set a benchmark for similar future projects, added the release.
“This is a unique multilateral funding arrangement that allows Make in India provision in procurements,” said Vinay Kumar Singh, Managing Director, NCRTC.
“With features like multi-modal integration and interoperability, RRTS will lead to polycentric development and significantly curb pollution and congestion in NCR by providing fast, reliable, secure, and all-weather connectivity,” said Vinay Kumar Singh.
The implementation of the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor will enable a modal shift in favor of public transport. It is expected that the share of public transport will move from 37 per cent to 63 per cent in the region, which will help in significantly curbing congestion and pollution.
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