Jean-Marc Ayrault tours Bangalore Metro facilities
H.E. Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development tours Bangalore Metro facilities, a fruitful collaboration between Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) and the French Development Agency (AFD) for the promotion of low-carbon urban transport.
Bengaluru, 9 January 2017
On 9th January 2017, Mr Ayrault visited the Bangalore metro, a project partially funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the fruit of Indo-French collaboration.
Foreign Minister Ayrault was accompanied by a delegation including H.E Mr Alexandre Ziegler - Ambassador of France to India, Mr François Gautier - Consul General of France in Bengaluru, Mr Nicolas Fornage - Regional Director for South Asia at AFD, and officers from the Bangalore Metro Railway Corporation Limited.
The Namma Metro visit started at 10.00 am at Vidhana Soudha Station, where BMRCL officers welcomed the delegation. They then covered two stations by metro, emerging at MG Road Station.
The Bangalore metro contributes to improving urban mobility for city residents even as it promotes the sustainable development of the metropolis. AFD has supported the project through an initial financing of 110 million euros in 2012 and a second allocation of 200 million euros in 2015.
Bengaluru, the third biggest city of the country, is the centre of the new Indian economy. Having doubled in the last 20 years, its population could reach 10 million inhabitants by 2020, with the number of vehicles growing daily. The metro relieves congestion, facilitates urban mobility and promotes low-carbon development.
The construction of the Bangalore Metro, started by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited in 2008, included the operation of two lines, partially running since 2011. The trains increase their frequency to one every four minutes during peak hours, and carry 1,80,000 passengers every day. After the completion of Phase I, the passenger capacity will reach 5,00,000 per day. Providing greater accessibility, the stations have been spaced just one kilometre apart, with the fare being comparable to that of the bus. The whole system, including Phases I and II, is projected to reach a capacity of 2 million passengers per day by 2023.
In line with the Indian Government’s priorities, the development of low-carbon urban infrastructure, particularly in the transport sector, is central to AFD’s mandate in India. The continued collaboration between AFD and BMRCL illustrates the willingness of the governments of France and India to nurture strong and long-lasting cooperation in this domain.
After providing a loan of 110 million euros for Phase I of the metro (42 kilometres) in 2012, AFD signed a new loan of 200 million euros with the Government of India for financing Phase II (72 kilometres) in 2015. Phase II comprises the extensions of the two existing lines as well as the construction of two new lines. AFD’s financing for this new phase has been earmarked for the extension of the two existing lines. Other financial institutions, be they multilateral, bilateral or Indian, also contribute to the financing.
Many French companies - including Systra, Egis, Alstom and Thales - are also involved in this massive project providing services in signalling, telecommunication, technical studies and consultancy.
AFD financing to BMRC is a cornerstone of their operations in the sector of sustainable urban transport in India, whose total amount now reaches 620 million euros. AFD is also supporting Kochi and Nagpur metro projects. These activities are deployed in accordance with the mandate of AFD in India, defined with the Indian authorities in 2008, focused on green and inclusive growth.
Agence Française de Développement (AFD), a public development finance institution that implements the policy defined by the French Government, works to fight poverty and promote sustainable development. AFD operates worldwide via a network of 72 agencies. It finances and supports projects that improve living conditions for people, boost economic growth and protect the planet. In 2015, AFD committed 8.3bn euros to financing projects in developing countries and for overseas France. Since 2005, AFD has committed 21bn euros to climate-smart projects in developing and emerging countries.