BEIJING: The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved a $ 356.67 million loan for Chennai metro rail system expansion, bringing the bank’s funding for various projects in India to $ 6.7 billion, making the country its largest recipient.
Launched in 2016, the AIIB is a multilateral development bank that aims to support the construction of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. China is the bank’s largest shareholder with 26.06 percent of the voting rights. India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5 percent, followed by Russia with 5.93 percent and Germany with 4.5 percent.
The Chennai project involves the construction of a new corridor in the Chennai metro network as part of its phase 2 of the rail metro, AIIB vice president of investment operations, DJ, told PTI on Thursday. Pandian.
With the loan, the bank has so far approved 28 projects in India for a total amount of $ 6.7 billion, said Pandian, who oversees all of AIIB’s sovereign and non-sovereign loans in South Asia, said in the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia.
The energy and transport sectors received the highest amount of AIIB funding, he said.
After China, India is the bank’s second largest shareholder and is also its biggest beneficiary in terms of approvals for many projects, he said.
In addition to funding various infrastructure projects, the bank also provided India $ 1.75 billion for COVID-19 aid budget support, which included social protection assistance and assistance to micro , small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), Pandian said.
Other large AIIB Infra projects for India included $ 335 million for the Bangalore metro, $ 400 million for the Andhra Pradesh urban water project, $ 105 million for Kerala Solid Waste Management, $ 125 million for Resilient Kerala, USD 500 million for the Mumbai urban transport project. -3 and $ 500 million for the Delhi Meerut rapid transport system, he said.
The Chennai Metro project is “aligned with the AIIB’s mandate to support high-quality and sustainable infrastructure,” said Pandian, who was previously the chief secretary of Gujarat.
“Improving and integrating the transport sector in Chennai will further promote trade and economic growth,” he said.
Pandian recently visited Chennai and reviewed the progress of the metro project. He also called on Tamil Nadu’s chief minister, Deputy Stalin, and state finance minister Palanivel Thiagarajan.
The metro project will extend from the lighthouse in the east to the Poonamallee ring road in the west to ensure seamless multimodal transport through Chennai by providing integrated access to the commuter train, bus stations and the main airport of the city. city, he said.
The project will tackle traffic bottlenecks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing urban public transport options. Its design and construction will have eco-friendly features to help reduce its carbon footprint, Pandian said.
In addition to solar panels installed on the roofs of elevated stations, the project will have spaces dedicated to bicycles and green vehicles, and signage to raise environmental awareness.
The project also incorporates features of climate change resilience to reduce its vulnerability to climate-related events, Pandian said.
Women would benefit from the project as they will have access to a safer and more convenient mode of public transport with ripple effects such as increased opportunities to participate in school, work and social activities, he said. .
The project will provide improved accessibility and connectivity as well as increased economic opportunities for residential and commercial settlements along the new corridor, Pandian said.
The AIIB has 103 accredited members around the world.