Kochi Metro | French agency finalises funding for Metro phase-II

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KOCHI: French financing agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD), on Friday officially announced funding for phase-II development of the Kochi Metro Rail, and other city development projects proposed by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).

Meanwhile, a team from AFD expressed satisfaction over the progress of the Metro Rail project, for which the agency is  providing external funding.

The AFD team comprising AFD-Head Office urban transport expert Priscille De Coninck, AFD-Delhi Regional Office director Nicolas Fornage, AFD-Asia Department geographical coordinator Marine Karcher and AFD-Delhi Regional Office project coordinator Juliette Le Pannerer had arrived in Kochi on Thursday for a two-day visit in connection with supervising the progress of phase-I of the Metro Rail.

“We are here to review the progress of phase-I of the Kochi Metro Rail. Since our last visit in April this year, there has been a great deal of progress in the construction work.

“We were even able to carry out trial run of the coaches on potential routes. We are confident that the deadline for commercial operation would be met.

“We are committed to fulfilling the KMRL’s request to fund phase-II of the project and development of major junctions like Edappally and Kalamassery. We will extend wholehearted support to the KMRL’s city improvement projects. We are also planning to draw up and approve a formal agreement for funding the project by the first half of 2017,” said Nicolas Fornage.

“The phase-I and phase-II of the Kochi Metro Rail, the Water Metro and the Smart City project will bring in total investment of around `11,000 crore to the city, of which `9,000 core will be set aside exclusively for mobility-related projects. Once completed, the infrastructure projects will transform Kochi into a smart, efficient and sustainable city,” said KMRL managing director Elias George.

Later, officials of the AFD and KMRL held  discussions on revamping the Vyttila Mobility Hub and extending additional support for city improvement and place-making projects.

“AFD’s ‘Kochi Project’ involves much more than facilitating creation of the metro line, but envisages implementation of a vision to transform Kochi into a smart and efficient city, with the Metro and related infrastructure functioning as the backbone,” said Fornage.

The `100-crore project for city improvement and junction development was approved in the last director board meeting of the KMRL.

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