KMRL Board clears additional loan of Rs 470 crore for Kochi Metro Rail project

Kochi, January 21, 2015

The Board of Directors of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL), at a meeting in Delhi yesterday, cleared a proposal for availing an additional term loan of Rs 470 crore from the Ernakulam District Cooperative Bank for funding the land acquisition requirements for the Kochi Metro Rail project, as well as for widening the Vyttila-Petta road.  
KMRL decided to explore the possibility of obtaining a supplementary loan for land acquisition as the Government of Kerala was unable to release sufficient funds as required to complete the land acquisition, a press release from KMRL said here.
This loan will be subject to repayment by the Government of Kerala from their annual budgetary provisions over a period of 12 years. The loan will be available for a floating interest rate of 9.95%, which is linked to SBI’s base rate of interest and with no attached charges including processing fee.
The meeting, chaired by Urban Development Secretary and KMRL Chairman Shankar Aggarwal, also approved a supplementary policy for providing rehabilitation and resettlement benefits to persons affected by land acquisition, by approving a scheme to give preference to one person per affected family for filling up the arising vacancies, subject to the person being suitably qualified in other respects. 
The Board also approved a proposal for permitting small merchants and commercial establishments, who are displaced by the Kochi Metro Rail project, to have the “Right of first refusal” in the location of commercial spaces developed by KMRL. This entitlement will be limited to one commercial space per affected establishment. 
The Board has also accepted the operations and maintenance strategy for the Kochi Metro Rail project, where key technical functions will be undertaken by the in-house manpower of KMRL, while other services like the customer-facing services, cleaning, station maintenance and upkeep of facilities will be outsourced. It was also decided that there would be a focus on inducting women employees, wherever found feasible, not just in the customer-facing areas, but also in the key operations and maintenance functions.
The Board took note of the proposal of KMRL for developing a modern water transport system for the Greater Kochi region, including the introduction of modern water-craft, renovation of boat-jetties and provision of connectivity between the boat-jetties, the bus & metro stations.  The Board took note of the fact that the funding agencies -- Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) -- have expressed interest in funding the project, and that the detailed project report (DPR) is under preparation for submission to the Government of India and the funding agencies.  
It is expected that the DPR will be ready by the first week of February 2015, so that the project can be formally posed for funding, the release said.
The Board also took note of the agreements between KMRL and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for creation of a common mobility card, which can be used for ticketing as well as an array of other consumer uses.
The Board also approved the proposal for engaging a competent agency for providing consultancy services aimed towards discovering and determining fare options in a multi-modal transit environment.  This study is expected to contribute towards finalising the fare-fixation principles of the Kochi Metro Rail as well as for the entire Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) system.
The Board also took note of the commitment given by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for accelerating the completion of the works for ensuring that the revenue operations commence from Aluva to Maharaja's College in June 2016 itself, the release added.
NNN

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