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Japanese government funding agency JICA has signed agreements totalling Rs 15,295 crore with the Indian government for three mega rail infrastructure projects. Under these agreements, JICA has granted Rs 8,553 crore for phase-1 of the Dedicated Freight Corridor; Rs 4,262 crore for Mumbai Trans Harbour Link Project (II) and Rs 2,480 crore for the Mumbai Metro Line 3 Project (III).
JICA said the Rs 8,553-crore loan for the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project (Phase 1) comes with the objective to cope up with the increase in freight transport demand in India by constructing new dedicated freight railway system between Delhi and Mumbai.
It will promote comprehensive regional economic development along the freight corridor as the backbone of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) development plan, said the funding agency that provides long-term low-cost loans for development projects to various countries.
Katsuo Matsumoto, chief representative, JICA India, said, "JICA is committed towards the development of infrastructure in the transportation sector."
The Western Dedicated Freight Corridor runs between Delhi and Mumbai and covers the areas where significant commercial and industrial development is seen.
The Western DFC project is an important part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) initiative, which is part of the Japanese-Indian collaborative project aimed at comprehensive regional development, Matsumoto said.
It will help promote comprehensive regional economic development along the freight corridor in DMIC area.
In this phase-1 project, a new 950-km freight line (Rewari to Vadodara) connecting the major cities in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Haryana states has being constructed. The project will help in creating India's largest industrial belt in DMIC area by linking the industrial parks and harbours of the states between Delhi and Mumbai in order to promote foreign export and direct investment.
Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) is the executing agency of the project.
Construction of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) will connect Mumbai with Navi Mumbai. It will mitigate traffic congestion and promote economic development.
This loan agreement is the second tranche of JICA financing for MTHL, and the loan agreement for the first tranche was signed on March 31, 2017, for an amount of Rs 7,912 crore.
The Rs 2,480-crore loan assistance for construction of the Mumbai metro rail project will help to cope up with increase in freight transport demand in India by constructing new dedicated freight railway system between Delhi and Mumbai, JICA said.
Matsumoto, said that given the increase in population in Mumbai, there is an essential need for the project in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
Mass Rapid Transport systems also help in reducing pollution caused by private vehicles and improving living conditions.
"The current situation highlights the need for MRTS in Mumbai, and aims at easing mobility and connectivity," JICA said.
With a total of 33.7 km, entailing 26 stations, Line 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) is planned to connect southern Mumbai with the major activity areas like the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Airport (Domestic and International), Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area, SEEPZ (Industrial Hub) and area along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR).
The project is scheduled to be completed by 2021.
The Mumbai Metro will help in tackling congestion, as the daily ridership volume for 2021 is estimated as 1.21 million per day and will reach 1.70 million per day in 2031.
By Mumbai Metro Line-3, the expected travel time from domestic airport station to BKC station will be less than 7 minutes and from BKC to Cuffe Parade, it will be less than 40 minutes, JICA said.