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Japan to fund mass rapid transit systems in Gujarat, Haryana

Building on:The new project will connect the Dholera special investment region with Ahmedabad.Vijay Soneji

Building on:The new project will connect the Dholera special investment region with Ahmedabad.Vijay Soneji  

$4.5 billion soft loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency to boost $100 bn Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project

Funds from a Japanese government loan will soon be utilised for the first time in the $100 billion, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project. So far, the mega-project was being developed only with the Indian government’s financial assistance.

The DMIC spans six States (Uttar Pradesh, Delhi National Capital Region, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra). It uses ‘the 1,500-km-long, high-capacity western Dedicated Railway Freight Corridor (DFC) as the backbone’ and aims to be ‘a global manufacturing and investment destination’.

Several rail links

A soft loan (with concessional conditions) to the tune of $4.5 billion to be extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will shortly be utilised to develop two Mass Rapid Transit Systems (MRTS) — one each in Gujarat and Haryana — that will be part of the DMIC, official sources told The Hindu .

The JICA is the Japanese governmental agency in charge of implementation of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) — with the main objective of ‘promoting economic development and welfare in developing countries. The interest rate of the loan (in Japanese Yen) will be kept ‘very low’ (at 0.1%) and have a ‘long’ repayment period (at 40 years, including a 10-year grace period).

According to JICA, its “ODA to India started in 1958” and so far around “Rs. 2.75 lakh crore in ODA loans have been committed for development across various sectors.” As per JICA, it is “India’s biggest bilateral donor.”

Incidentally, a JICA loan worth Rs. 88,000 crore, on similar terms , will be used to build the Rs. 1.08 lakh crore Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project. JICA loans/assistance are being used to facilitate development of Metro rail networks including in Delhi and the Western DFC. The MRTS in Gujarat will be ‘at grade’ (ground level) and link Ahmedabad to the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR).

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