With the first phase of Hyderabad Metro Rail project all set for inauguration on November 28 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Telangana government and Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMRL) are in the process of seeking an official development assistance (ODA) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
With the first phase of Hyderabad Metro Rail project all set for inauguration on November 28 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Telangana government and Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMRL) are in the process of seeking an official development assistance (ODA) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). JICA is supporting six major Metro projects in the country and has extended concessional ODA loans of about Rs 60,000 crore for development of Metro projects in Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. “We are in the initial stage. We are currently doing pre-feasibility studies and exploring different possibilities and financial opportunities including JICA,” HMRL MD NVS Reddy told FE. Reddy, along with KT Rama Rao, state minister for IT and urban development, and other senior officials, will visit Japan in January to hold preliminary talks with JICA. However, he did not specify the quantum of JICA fund.
Sources in the know said rough estimates for Phase II expansion could be around Rs 8,000-Rs 10,000 crore on a stretch of about 100 km. The ODA loan’s conditions are very concessional, which is about 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. L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (LTMRHL) is building a 72-km elevated Metro project in Hyderabad through the public-private partnership mode and the initial phase of 30 km is ready for launch by the PM on November 28. The remaining stretch of the PPP project is expected to be commissioned by the end of next year. The project cost at the time of signing of concessionaire agreement in 2010 was Rs 14,132 crore.
The state government will be calling for bids for the second phase shortly. Shivanand Nimbargi, MD & CEO, LTMRHL, said the firm will definitely look at phase 2. “Phase 2 of the Metro project will be taken up by the government. It is in the process of conducting pre-feasibility studies. As and when the government finalises the alignment, there is a bidding process and we would like to participate in it,” he said.
Owing to various technical engineering challenges, LTMRHL had earlier said the Phase I project cost has escalated anywhere between Rs 2,500 crore and Rs 3,000 crore. LTMRHL has reportedly sought additional amount of Rs 3,756 crore from the state government, though there is no commitment as of now. But the state government said it is considering a new proposal where 60% of the cost can be met through external loans while the Centre and the state governments can bear 20% cost each.