The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is extending up to US$ 250 million for a metro rail system in Bangalore that will bring substantial economic and environmental benefits to the fast-growing city.
The ADB Board of Directors approved the loan for the Bangalore Metro Rail Transit System Project which will partly fund a total 42.3 kilometers of track, rolling stock, stations, and equipment for two key routes across the Southern Indian city. The project, to cost an estimated $ 2.7 billion and to be completed in 2013, is being carried out by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation, a special purpose vehicle, jointly owned by the government of India and the state government of Karnataka.
“The project – ADB’s first metro rail project in South Asia – will provide Bangaloreans with multiple benefits including reduced road congestion and pollution, and a safer, faster, fuel-saving public transport system for the city. Its innovative financing model should lead to faster development of urban transport in India through catalyzing commercial debt and private finance,” said Anouj Mehta, Focal Point for Public-Private Partnerships (India) and Senior Infrastructure Finance Specialist in ADB’s South Asia Department.
Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state and renowned for its information technology and biotechnology industries, is one of the fastest growing urban centers in the country, with a population now in excess of 6 million. However, an overloaded public bus system and soaring use of cars and motorbikes are undermining growth opportunities and degrading the environment.