ADB extends $500 mn loan to Indian Railways
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Sep 4: Multi-lateral lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 500 million loan to help India improve rail services along some of the country's busiest freight and passenger routes.
"ADB is extending loans of up to USD 500 million to help India improve rail services... The ADB Board of Directors has approved a multi-tranche financing facility for the Railway Sector Investment Program (RSIP)," the Manila-headquartered agency said in a statement.
The loan is intended to finance additional lines and the electrification of hundreds of kilometers of existing track, along with installing new signalling.
ADB will also support accounting reforms to improve operational efficiency of Indian Railways.
The RSIP will target freight and passenger routes in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, including the critical Golden Quadrilateral corridor that connects Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi.
The loan has a 25-year term, with a grace period of five years. The government of India will provide counterpart finance of over USD 644 million to cover the costs of the total program, estimated at over USD 1.1 billion.
"This programme will help deliver more energy efficient, safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly rail services along key high density routes," ADB principal transport specialist Hiroaki Yamaguchi said.
He further added: "This in turn will result in direct and indirect economic opportunities for about 21 million people in programme areas who will benefit from faster travel times, lower costs and improved links to markets, production centers and social service facilities."
The Indian Railways catered to 7 billion passengers and carried 800 million tonnes of freight in the 2010-11 fiscal.
However, experts have said that a lack of investment in new infrastructure and institutional constraints have seen services struggling to keep up with the rise in traffic.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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