MoU singed for metro rail in Bhopal, indore

Photo for representation.

The road for the long-awaited metro rail in Bhopal and Indore was finally paved on Monday with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government of Madhya Pradesh and the Centre in New Delhi.

The MoU has enabled the Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MPMRCL) to access loan from foreign funding agencies for the two projects whose cumulative cost is pegged at Rs 14,400 crore. The projects are likely to be completed in four years.

Union Urban Development and Housing minister Hardip Singh Puri and Madhya Pradesh Urban Development Minister Jaivardhan Singh were present when the MoU was inked. The projects have already got a nod from the Union Cabinet.

Jai Vardhan Singh said under the Bhopal metro rail project, two corridors of the total length of 27.87 km will be constructed with an estimated cost of Rs 6,941.40 crore.

The Indore metro rail project with an estimated cost of Rs 7,500.80 crore envisages laying rail lines up to 31.55 km.

"It's the official go-ahead for the project in Indore and Bhopal. Foreign funding agencies are on board,” said Sanjay Dubey, MP urban administration and housing development, principal secretary, who is also the managing director of the Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail corporation private limited.

The projects will be part-funded by the Central and state governments. Loans will be sought from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the New Development Bank (NDB) for Indore Metro and from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the Bhopal Metro.

Both the projects had to be reworked after the Centre announced a new Metro policy for 2017. It also opens a window for private investments in Metro operations by making private participation mandatory for availing Central assistance on Metro projects.

The Union government's financial support to the metro rail project is expected to be 20%. In October 2018, ahead of the state Assembly elections, the Union Cabinet had given in-principle approval for the twin projects.

Since then, the first civil work package which includes soil testing and laying of groundwork for the two projects have begun.

The projects will be executed by the MP metro rail corporation under the joint venture of the Centre and the Mp government with 50:50 equity basis.  

The company will act as a special purpose vehicle.

The MP government will bear the cost of land acquisition, relocation and rehabilitation of the affected people.

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