March 4, 2016
New Delhi, March 4 2016: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) today signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide 82.434 billion Japanese Yen (approx. INR 4870 crore) Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan for the development of the metro rail system in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The ODA loan's conditions are very concessional, i.e. 1.4% of interest rate and 30 years of repayment period (including 10 years of grace period). The assistance from JICA will facilitate construction of underground and elevated rail-tracks, electrical, telecommunication and signalling systems and procurement of the trains.
India is JICA's largest partner in the world. With the signing of this loan agreement for Ahmedabad Metro Project, the cumulative loan amount provided by JICA for metro projects in India (including Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Mumbai Metro's) has exceeded 1 trillion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 59071 crores).
The agreement was signed between Takema SAKAMOTO, Chief Representative, JICA India Office and S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India at Ministry of Finance.
The project will provide the 1st Metro Rail System network of approx. 38 km in Ahmedabad from Motera Stadium to APMC (North-South Corridor) and Thaltej to Vastral Gaam (East-West Corridor). It will cover the central business district area, academic area, residential area and institutional complex area of Ahmedabad Metropolitan Area. Development of metro in Ahmedabad will provide safe, timely and comfortable travel with high reliability of services to the citizens, as a typical example of high quality infrastructure.
The Executing agency for the project is Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad Company Ltd. (MEGA). The complete commercial operation is expected to start from 2020.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mr Takema SAKAMOTO, Chief Representative, JICA India said, "Ahmedabad is the fifth-most populated city in India. This concessional loan will help develop mass rapid transit system in the Ahmedabad metropolitan area. This project will meet the growing traffic demands, leading to modal shift from road traffic to public transportation system and will eventually lead to balanced regional development and improvement of environmental conditions".
The technology being implemented for metro will include the advanced singling system, i.e. Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) system, in order to achieve high level of safety enforcement and reliability of the Project. Automatic Fare Collection System with combination of IC Smart Card for multiple journeys and computerized Contactless Smart Token for single journey will be adopted into the Project as well.
Advanced technology and systems will reduce the total life cycle cost (LCC) including operation and maintenance stage. In addition, the cooperation in urban rail sector with advanced technology enhances the development of human resources in India.
The metro will provide safe and reliable service for female and vulnerable passengers such as the seniors and persons with disability, by installing CCTV, intercoms for emergency communication, courtesy seats, women-only passenger car, space for wheelchairs in cars, textured paving blocks and lifts in platforms.
The Government of India has mentioned the necessity of improvement on public transportation system in terms of the safety, energy efficiency, and environmental conservation, in addition to dealing with the traffic demand based on the recent economic developments across the country. The government has been continuously addressing on the issue of strengthening of public transportation and such policy is also reflected in the 12th Five Year Plan (April 2012 – March 2017).
In recent years, for Gujarat state development efforts, JICA has also extended 17,521 million Japanese Yen (approx. INR 1035 crores) for the Gujarat Forestry Development Project. The objective of the project is to regenerate the forest and raise the living standards of the local inhabitants by conducting community-based afforestation and exercises to enhance livelihood in the condition of Gujarat in western India, thereby contributing to improvement of the local environment and poverty reduction.
Established, by a specific law, as an independent administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation, as a sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the biggest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
JICA India Office Web: http://www.jica.go.jp/india/english/
JICA India Brochure: http://www.jica.go.jp/india/english/office/others/brochures.html