Government of India and ADB sign 37 Billion Japanese Yen Loan for Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Corridor

Government of India-ADB Partnership Accelerates Delhi-Meerut RRTS Corridor
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With a motive towards enhancing urban mobility and curbing carbon emissions in the National Capital Region (NCR), the Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a deal on December 15, 2023. The agreement, a 37 billion Japanese Yen ($250 million) loan, will continue to fund the ambitious 82-kilometer Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor.

The signing ceremony, attended by Ms. Juhi Mukherjee, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Mr. Hoe Yun Jeong, Deputy Country Director and Officer-in-Charge of the India Resident Mission for ADB, solidifies the commitment to bolstering India’s public transportation infrastructure. Ms. Juhi Mukherjee, speaking after the agreement, highlighted the transformative impact of the investment project on urban mobility, emphasising that the benefits would extend to diverse segments of the population, including women and differently-abled individuals.

The ADB’s involvement in the RRTS project dates back to 2020 when it granted a substantial $1,049 million Multi-tranche Financing Facility (MFF) to support the construction of the corridor. The Delhi-Meerut RRTS is the first of three priority rail corridors outlined in the NCR Regional Plan 2021, aiming to seamlessly connect Delhi with neighbouring cities. The initial tranche of the ADB loan, amounting to $500 million, was further complemented by an additional $500 million co-financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Mr. Hoe Yun Jeong, acknowledging the crucial role of ADB financing, expressed enthusiasm for the positive environmental impact of the RRTS. He affirmed, “ADB financing is helping the construction of the corridor, which will allow people to travel by a low carbon and efficient railway system and save millions of tons of CO2 emissions, playing a significant role in climate change mitigation”.

The 82-kilometer corridor, passing through densely populated sections of the national capital region, is set to revolutionise commuter transit services. By providing fast, safe and high-capacity transportation, the RRTS will not only reduce travel time from 3-4 hours to about 1 hour but also stimulate economic and employment opportunities in the region. Multimodal hubs within the system are designed to ensure seamless interchange with other modes of transportation.

The loan agreement between the Government of India and ADB emphasisesthe shared commitment to sustainable development, economic growth and improved quality of life for the citizens of the NCR. This initiative aligns with global efforts to combat climate change by promoting low-carbon and efficient transportation systems.

The construction of the Delhi-Meerut RRTS corridor highlights the power of international collaboration in fostering innovation and progress. The infusion of funds through this loan agreement marks a crucial step towards realising a future where urban mobility is not only efficient but also environmentally responsible.

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