The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) today said it has approved a $335 million loan to finance a 100-per cent electric metro rail project in Bangalore. The multilateral development bank said in a statement that investment in the Bangalore Metro Rail Project—Reach 6 (R6) is AIIB’s first metro project and its first joint financing partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB). “By expanding the city’s metro system, the project will provide high-capacity north-south connectivity through the centre of Bangalore—India’s third most populated city with a population of 9.6 million,” it said in a statement. “Travel times for some journeys impacted by the lack of a metro system are expected to drop from two hours today to 15 minutes when the R6 line is completed,” it added. In May 2016, AIIB and EIB had signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a framework of cooperation to conduct regular dialogues and explore joint infrastructure project financing.
The Bangalore Metro Rail Project—R6 is the first project resulting from that framework. “We’re investing in this metro project because of its potential to greatly improve the mobility of commuters and further economic growth through better connectivity,” the statement quoted AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer D J Pandian as saying. Headquartered in Beijing, China, AIIB is a multilateral development bank and it commenced operations in January 2016.