$4bn Indian rail project on track with ADB loan

18 Aug 20

A $1bn loan will help India build a modern high-speed rail system around its capital city, the Asian Development Bank has said after it approved the financing deal.


Crowded train waiting to depart.

Much of India's existing transport infrastructure is overcrowded


The Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System, the first of its kind in India, will connect the two cities in the country’s densely populated National Capital Region.

Its 16 stations will be integrated with existing transport infrastructure such as metro, bus and rail systems.

“Efficient and integrated transport solutions are critical for managing the rapid urbanisation and ensuring balanced urban development of the region,” said ADB principal transport specialist Sharad Saxena.

“This project will also provide safe, reliable and seamless travel between Delhi and other NCR cities, and pave the way for a paradigm shift in mobility across the NCR.”

The 82km network is one of India’s three priority rail corridors in its plans for the region.

The ADB said the Indian government will provide $1.89bn of the project’s total $3.94bn cost, with co-financiers expected to provide a little over $1bn.

ADB financing will come in four tranches between August 2020 and May 2025.

It will be used to finance the construction of railway tracks, station buildings, maintenance facilities and the power supply infrastructure.

An additional $3m grant from the ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will be used to improve access for disabled people, including providing visual, hearing and mobility aids.

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