The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a loan of $356.67 million to support the expansion of Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL). The project involves the construction of a new metro corridor as part of CMRL’s Phase-II development.
The corridor will span from Lighthouse in the east to Poonamalee Bypass in the west to ensure multimodal transport across Chennai, providing integrated access to suburban rail, bus stations and the main airport.
“This project is aligned with AIIB’s mandate to support high-quality and sustainable infrastructure. The improvement and integration of the transport sector in Chennai will further promote trade and economic growth,” DJ Pandian, AIIB vice president, investment operations, said.
Phase II expansion is for a 118.9-km network with 128 stations. It consists of Corridor 3, from Madhavaram to Sipcot (45.8 km); Corridor 4, from Lighthouse to Poonamalle Bypass (26.1 km); and Corridor 5, from Madhavaram to Sholinganallur (47 km). The estimated cost of the project, scheduled to be completed by 2026-end, is Rs 63,246 crore.
AIIB said the project’s design and construction will have environment-friendly features to help reduce its carbon footprint. In addition to solar panels installed on the roofs of the elevated stations, the project will have dedicated spaces for bicycles and green vehicles, and signage to raise environmental awareness. The project also integrates climate change resilience features to reduce its vulnerability to climate-related events.
AIIB has approved funding for 28 projects in India, with a total amount of $6.7 billion. The energy and transport sectors have received the highest amount of AIIB’s financing.