Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday asked the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to join her government as a partner in implementing some of the 200 infrastructure projects that are to be announced in the next volume of ‘Vision Tamil Nadu 2023’, a document unveiling a strategic plan for infrastructure development.

Chennai Waterways Restoration Project, upgrading of urban infrastructure in the extended areas of the city, the Madurai-Tuticorin Industrial Corridor and components of the State Highways Development Project were candidate projects that it could look at for financing next fiscal.

The second volume of the Vision Document is to be released shortly, she said during a meeting with the visiting JICA president, Akihiko Tanaka, at the Secretariat here.

Noting that the State government looked forward to continued and enhanced engagement with JICA, Ms.Jayalalithaa requested the Agency to consider assisting the Project Preparation Fund of the Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Development Board. It would help the project development of bankable PPP projects.

An official release said Ms.Jayalalithaa also asked the Agency to explore the possibility of setting up a separate line of credit for private partners selected for the implementation of PPP (public private partnership) projects in Tamil Nadu. This would support the Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Development Fund provide Viability Gap Funding for PPP projects and long-term financing directly to private sector developers towards enabling them to reach financial closure early.

Thanking JICA for its support in formulation of Tamil Nadu Investment Promotion Programme, she said major projects implemented with the Agency’s assistance in the State include Tamil Nadu Afforestation Project-II, Hogenakkal Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation project, Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Project, Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening project, and Chennai Metro Rail project.

This year, a new Tamil Nadu Transmission System Improvement Project with a JICA loan of Rs.3,410 crore (607.40 billion yen) is to be implemented. It would help strengthen the power transmission network. Given the additional power generation capacity of 6,000 MW expected to be commissioned within the next two years, the project would be a critical supplementary component in the efficient distribution of electricity.

The JICA president indicated Tamil Nadu had the great potential to become the hub of industrial growth in the Indian Ocean region. Appreciating the rapid implementation of many infrastructure projects by the State government, he promised continued support for such projects.

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