A press statement by the EIB stated that this is not only the largest EIB loan in India, but also the largest support for sustainable transport outside Europe as well.
"The new support for investment by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation to improve city transport is the largest ever support for sustainable transport outside Europe and will cut travel times for some journeys from 2 hours today to 15 minutes when the new line is complete," read the press statement.
The formal exchange of contracts was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, along with other senior political representatives from India and the European Union.
"Daily travel for hundreds of thousands people on the Namma Metro will be transformed by expanding urban transport in Bangalore. The impressive Reach six projects show how a world city is providing 21st century sustainable transport for its citizens. The EUR 500 million financing agreed with the European Investment Bank, the Bank of the European Union, demonstrates Europe's commitment to support world class climate related investment across Asia and the increased momentum of EIB financing for urban transport across India. This new loan follows backing for the impressive Lucknow Metro announced with Prime Minister Modi last year and stronger engagement here in India through our New Delhi office opened last March," said Andrew McDowell.
The EIB is the world's largest international public bank and is owned by the 28 European Union member states.
Speaking at the summit, the EU Ambassador to India, H.E. Tomasz Kozlowski, said, "The loan for the Bangalore Metro will contribute greatly to a project that will reduce traffic congestion and pollution in a city that has seen explosive growth in recent years."
Once operational in 2021, the new 22 kilometre reach-six metro line will transform the transport in the southern Indian city.
"The project includes both underground tunnels and elevated tracks. The economic activity in Karnataka capital will benefit from reduced journey time and lower costs. The improved transport links are also expected to reduce green-house gas emissions," the press statement said.
The Bangalore Metro is the first infrastructure project to be jointly financed by the European Investment Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It is the EIB's second sovereign loan with the Republic of India.
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