The European Investment Bank (EIB)’s updated website indicates that on April 23 it began officially appraising a 480 million Euro (approx. Rs. 4195 crore) loan for financing the construction of Agra Metro’s 29.40 km Phase 1 project.
EIB has been in talks with Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) since at least 2019 in conjunction with Kanpur Metro’s development for which its board separately approved a €650 million (approx. Rs. 5661 crore) loan in July 2020.
Many combined system tenders for both projects (such as rolling stock, signalling and track-work) were launched in 2020 with support from EIB, which was the first indication that EIB would be actively involved in Agra Metro’s development.
The recent underground tunneling tender AGCC-02 (RBS College – Taj Mahal) was launched after the go-ahead from EIB, but the overall loan’s approval is still pending from its board. When approved, the loan will represent roughly 48-50% of the total cost which is estimated at Rs. 8,379.62 crore.
Objectives: Agra’s new metro will make the city greener, safer and more business-friendly. The project will contribute to the two main objectives of the Climate Action and Environment Facility (CAEF): (i) climate change mitigation, by promoting modal shift from road to rail and thereby a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; and (ii) the development of social and economic infrastructure by making a key contribution to urban development, thereby improving the business environment for private sector development and facilitating access to amenities and jobs.
The project is consistent with the EU Country Strategy Paper for India (2018), which highlights the infrastructure gap, including in transport, and the need to address rising greenhouse gas emissions. The EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025 further emphasises collaboration between India and EIB in the field of Indian urban transport. In addition, the operation will contribute to achieving India’s Paris Alignment targets and the voluntary commitment made by the Indian government under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of GDP. The project will contribute to achieving SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and infrastructure (SDG 9). It is expected to contribute indirectly to other goals.
Agra Metro’s Phase 1 was approved by India’s Central Government in February 2019 with 2 lines and 28 stations – a mix of elevated and underground sections – view detailed information here.
• Line 1 – Sikandra – Taj East Gate (14.25 km, 14 stations)
• Line 2 – Agra Cantt. – Kalindi Vihar (15.40 km, 15 stations)
If and when approved by EIB’s board, Agra Metro’s €480mn loan will become EIB’s 6th transport loan in India. Other 5 are:
- Lucknow Metro – €450 million agreement signed in March 2016
- Bangalore Metro – €500 million (€300m agreement signed in October 2017)
- Bhopal Metro – €400 million approved in December 2019
- Pune Metro – €600 million agreement signed in January 2020
- Kanpur Metro – €650 million approved in June 2020