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Japan unlikely to extend loan to Bangalore Metro Phase-2

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), which is implementing the metro rail project for Bangalore city, is unlikely to get financial assistance in the form of loans from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the second phase of the metro rail project. The JICA, which has extended loan to BMRCL for the first phase, is concerned with the slow progress of works for the implementation of phase-I of the project and is yet to take a call on funding for the phase-II, a top JICA official said.

“We have already extended loan of about Rs 4,000 crore to BMRCL for the first phase of the project, which is still under construction. But, we have not decided yet on extending loans to the second phase,” said Ichiguchi Tomohide, deputy chief representative, JICA.

He said JICA was yet to receive any official request from the government for second phase of the Bangalore Metro rail project. “We will look into the matter only after we receive the request from the government. But, the first phase of the project has to be completed first,” he told Business Standard.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited has already acknowledged publicly that the project is running behind schedule and the work on the tunnel for North-South Corridor is struck due to breakdown of the tunnel boring machine near Majestic. This is likely to result in further delay in the completion of the project. As of now, the 42.3 km long first phase of the project is scheduled for completion and commercial operation by September 2015.

Work on the Rs 11,609 crore first phase of Bangalore Metro started in April 2007 and the 6.7-km long first reach was opened for public use on October 20, 2011 and the 10-km long third reach was completed and opened for public use from February 2014. As per the original schedule, the first phase was slated for completion in June 2014.

The Corporation has already secured all approvals for the second phase of the Metro project involving an investment of Rs 26,400 crore. It is expected to begin civil works next year.

Tomohide said JICA would extend assistance to Karnataka government for taking up several other projects like peripheral ring road around Bangalore city, intelligent transport system for Bangalore and Mysore, industrial township at Vasant Narasapur in Tumkur district (as part of the Bangalore Chennai Industrial Corridor) and Karnataka Investment Promotion Programme for improving the investment climate through sector loan for infrastructure development and policy implementation among others.

“The detailed project report for the peripheral ring road project is completed and JICA would sign an agreement with the state government by March next year,” Tomohide said.

He said Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) would soon undertake a feasibility study for building a new tunnel at Shiradi Ghat, which has been badly damaged due to heavy vehicular traffic. The study would begin soon and the report will be submitted to the government by March next year, he added.

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