April 2, 2018
New Delhi, April 2, 2018: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of 8,082 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 500 crores) for the "Project for Installation of Chennai Metropolitan Area Intelligent Transport Systems". The ODA loan's conditions are very concessional, i.e. 1.5% interest rate for the project activities, and 0.01% interest rate for consulting service, and 30 years of repayment period (including 10 years of the grace period).
The objective of the Project is to construct an efficient traffic system to meet increasing traffic demands in Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) by installing ITS, thereby contributing to mitigating traffic congestion and economic growth in CMA. Once the Project becomes operational, citizens of Chennai and adjacent areas will experience improved travel speed in the city center and reduced queues at intersections.
The ODA loan agreement was signed between H.E. Mr. Sujan R. Chinoy, Ambassador of India to Japan and Junichi Yamada, Senior Vice President, JICA at the Iikura House of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tokyo on March 29th, 2018.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India office said, "Traffic in Chennai has risen steeply with rapid urbanization and the city is prone to heavy traffic jams. While metro trains are one of the solutions, and JICA has been proactively supporting Chennai metro's development through ODA Loans, we are taking another step forward by introducing this new project to enhance mobility through the help of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based system. The Project would optimize the way traffic lights work, reducing long vehicle queues at the city's main intersections. The Project would also provide traffic information visual message signs or LED display boards to road and especially bus users. Mitigating traffic congestion and normalizing traffic flow would lead to effective utilization of road infrastructure and would increase road safety."
Chennai Smart City Limited. is the Executing Agency of the Project.
The Project would see installations under three heads, Traffic Management System, Bus Systems and Traffic Information System. The ITS-based traffic control system will benefit all road users, from private vehicle users to users of public transport, cyclists and even pedestrians. This Project will be implemented within the right-of-way on the existing road network in Chennai, and will not affect the city's natural or social environment.
In addition to this Project, JICA has also extended 183,595 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 11,000 crores) in concessional ODA loans over 5 tranches since 2008 for the development of around 52.4 km metro rail system in Chennai.
The image is an example of traffic management center in Japan. (Photo courtesy: East Nippon Expressway Company Limited)
The Signing Ceremony took place between H.E. Mr. Sujan R. Chinoy, Ambassador of India to Japan (left) and Junichi Yamada, Senior Vice President, JICA (right) in presence of Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India (extreme left) and Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs (extreme right)
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 world's largest 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.
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