The Madhya Pradesh government has said Bhopal and Indore will have Metro rail systems two years before the state goes into Assembly elections in 2018.
The urban development department is working on tying up funds and finalising the detailed project reports for the two Metros. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has agreed to fund Rs 12,000 crore for the projects at nominal interest rates.
"Our effort is to issue the first tickets on the Metros in Bhopal and Indore by 2018. At least some portions will be open to commuters," Vivek Aggarwal, managing director, Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail project, said.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan recently visited Japan where he discussed the project. The Bhopal Metro will ferry 300,000 passengers a day, and this capacity may later be augmented.
The condition of JICA funding is that the special purpose vehicles for the Metro projects will procure 30 per cent from Japanese companies and another 30 per cent from the domestic market.
"JICA has agreed to fund the project at 0.3 per cent annual interest for 40 years with a moratorium of 10 years. We will soon finalise and forward reports for both the projects to the JICA for fund tie-ups," Aggarwal said. The Bhopal and Indore Metro rail projects were conceived in 2009. The Metros will have a 28 km stretch each in the first phase and will span 95 km and 103 km after completion. The first phase is estimated to cost Rs 14,000-15,000 crore, of which 20 per cent will be contributed by the central and state governments.
Japanese companies are interested in operation and maintenance of the Metros, supply of bogies, signalling and air-conditioning. "We see a lot of potential in the Bhopal and Indore Metro rail projects. We will participate in the bidding. We are interested in operation and maintenance," Hiroshi Kono, deputy director of the East Japan Railway Company, told Business Standard in Bhopal.
The Japan Overseas Railway System Association is also looking at participating in the projects. "We will be interested in supplying components, bogies and the signalling system. Our companies have technical expertise and competence in Metro rail projects," Tsutomu Murasaki, executive director of the association, said here.
The Bhopal Metro project will cost Rs 6,962.92 crore for which MP Metro Rail Company will chip in with Rs 4,177.80 crore, while the state and central governments will contribute Rs 392 crore each.
The Indore Metro rail project will cost Rs 7,100 crore for which MP Metro Rail Company will contribute Rs 4,260.30 crore and the state and central governments Rs 1,420 crore each.
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