Nagpur Metro | French loan deal for Nagpur metro rail in July

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Nagpur: After successfully inking a loan agreement for 500 million euros (3750cr approx) with German lending agency KfW, Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL) is now pursuing a 130 million euro (Rs975cr approx) loan from French institution Agence France de Developpement (AFD). NMRCL officials said that the process was in advanced stages and the deal is likely to be signed by July-end.

“A team of AFD officials — project coordinator Juliette Le Pannerer and project manager Priscille de Conick — had recently visited Nagpur. Lengthy technical consultations were held with our team and the two officials expressed satisfaction over progress of the project. AFD will visit the city once more after which the loan agreement would be signed,” a NMRCL official told Media.

KfW has sanctioned the loan for 20 years at an interest rate of 1.6% with a moratorium of five years. AFD’s terms and conditions are expected to be similar. NMRCL needs about 1,000 crore this year for the project and so far the flow of funds has been satisfactory.

“While the KfW loan and government funds would be used for civil works and purchase of wagons, the French loan will be used for purchasing signals and telecommunications systems and for installing an automatic fare collection system,” the official further said.

Meanwhile, the choice of general consultant (GC) for the project has narrowed down to two consortiums — Systra and Deutschbahn (DB) International. The consortium led by Ayesa has been eliminated. Systra is a French firm and has Egis Rail, AECOM Asia and RITES as partners. DB International is a German firm with Deutschbahn Projektbau GmbH, Hill International, Oriental Consultants Global Co Ltd, Balaji Railroad Systems and Padeco as partners.

Once the GC is appointed, it will help NMRCL in supervising the project, preparing tenders, checking bills etc. It is to the credit of NMRCL officials that a lot of work has been done by them without any external help.

On the progress of the project, the official said that civil work on the stretch from Rani Jhansi Square to Lokmanya Nagar (near Hingna) will begin in a month. “The technical evaluation of the tender has been completed and the financial evaluation is in advanced stages,” he added. “The tender for procurement of wagons and engines has been floated. Same is the case with design of railway stations on Sitabuldi-Lokmanya Nagar stretch,” he further said.

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