State propels ORR, airport metro lines with Rs 1,000 cr

Metro pillers on K R Puram junction in Bengaluru. Photo Srikanta Sharma R.

In a push towards the implementation of ORR and airport metro lines under Phases 2A and B, the state government has released nearly Rs 1,000 crore for the projects. 

The government released the funds towards equity and subordinated debt, days before the Centre is expected to approve the metro lines.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) had written to the state government in August, seeking funds under the equity-sharing joint venture model as per the Metro Policy 2017. 

The corporation is waiting for approval for two key projects — the Outer Ring Road line from Silk Board Junction to KR Puram, estimated to cost about Rs 6,000 crore, and the much-awaited KR Puram-Kempegowda International Airport line (Rs 10,584.15 crore). 

The state government, which had allocated Rs 1,094 crore towards equity in BMRCL, released the first tranche of Rs 273.50 crore in June. 

With the BMRCL preparing to raise loans towards the two metro projects, the state released the second tranche of Rs 364.66 crore last week, in accordance with the funding pattern for the metro projects. 

The shot in the arm, however, was the Rs 575-crore fund towards subordinated debt, which came days after the first tranche of the same amount. 

Senior BMRCL officials said the funds would help the transporter expedite the process to start the two metro lines. “The state and central governments may share the project cost, but the former has a higher share owing to the land acquisition costs,” an official said, adding that the state funds would help the BMRCL raise loans. 

Namma Metro is looking to raise long-term loans of up to 20 years at a moderate rate of interest. The formal procedure to raise the loans can begin once the Union government approves the projects. BMRCL officials have already held discussions with Asian Development Bank for a $500-million loan. 

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