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Japanese agency, JICA signs Rs 15,295 crore agreement with Modi govt for major rail infra projects; details

Devanjana Nag

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japanese government funding agency, has signed agreements with the Indian government for three rail infrastructure projects, totalling Rs 15,295 crore. The agency has granted an amount of Rs 8,553 crore for phase 1 of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC); Rs 4,262 crore for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link Project and an amount of Rs 2,480 crore for the Mumbai Metro Line 3 project, according to a PTI report. For phase 1 of the DFC, Rs 8,553 crore loan comes with the objective to cope up with the increase in India’s freight transport demand by building a new dedicated freight railway system between Mumbai and Delhi, JICA said.

According to the chief representative of JICA India, Katsuo Matsumoto, the Western DFC project is a crucial part of the Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) initiative. Under phase 1 of this project, a freight line (Rewari to Vadodara) of 950-km, connecting the major cities in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Haryana has been constructed. The project, which is being executed by DFCCIL, will help in creating the country’s largest industrial belt in the DMIC area by connecting the industrial parks as well as harbours of the states between Mumbai and Delhi to promote foreign export and direct investment.

Once the construction of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) is completed, it will connect Mumbai with Navi Mumbai and will promote economic development as well as mitigate traffic congestion. According to the report, this loan agreement by JICA is the second tranche of the Japanese agency financing for MTHL. For the first tranche, the loan agreement was signed on 31 March 2017, for an amount of Rs 7,912 crore.

According to JICA, the loan assistance of Rs 2,480 crore for the construction of the Mumbai Metro rail project will help to cope up with the increase in India’s freight transport demand by developing a dedicated freight railway system between Delhi-Mumbai. With a total length of 33.7 km, entailing 26 number of stations, Line 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) is planned to link southern part of Mumbai with the major activity areas such as the Bandra Kurla Complex, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation area, Airport (Domestic and International), SEEPZ as well as the area along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road. The metro rail project is likely to be completed by next year.

According to the report, the Mumbai Metro will help in decongestion, as the daily ridership volume for the year 2021 is estimated as 1.21 million per day and the figure will reach 1.70 million per day in the year 2031.