Our Bureau

New Delhi, March 29

THE Japanese Government has extended a Rs 5,600-crore soft loan package for eight projects in the country, which include the ongoing Delhi Metro rail project, Bangalore water supply, Ganga Action Plan in Uttar Pradesh and a power project in Jharkhand.

With this package, India emerged as the top recipient of Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the second year in running, Mr Hidenao Yanagi, Minister-in-Charge of Economic Affairs in the Embassy of Japan, said here today.

Of the eight projects, Bangalore's water supply and sewerage project will get Rs 1,750 crore while the Delhi Metro will get Rs 800 crore as the sixth tranche of time-bound loan assistance extended by the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for the Mass Rapid Transit System.

When it is completed by March 2006, the first phase of the Delhi Metro is expected to carry 2.26 million passengers daily, nearly the same volume that Tokyo metropolitan subway carries at present.

The package also includes an allocation of also extending Rs 663 crore for the 1,980-MW first phase of the North Karanpura Super Thermal Power project in Jharkhand.

The Karnataka Sustainable Forest Management and Bio-diversity Conservation Project will get Rs 634 crore while Tamil Nadu Afforestation Project will receive Rs 409 crore.

Japan is also extending Rs 481 crore for Rajasthan's Minor Irrigation Improvement project aimed at increasing farm output by stepping up irrigation and disseminating farming technology in rain-deficient areas.

The Ganga Action Plan project in Varanasi will get ODA loan worth Rs 466 crore.

The Uttar Pradesh Buddhist Circuit Development Project will get Rs 395 crore.

The assistance is intended to improve the tourism infrastructure in the Buddhist circuit, with an aim to generate more jobs and reduce poverty in the region.

The notes for the loan assistance were signed and exchanged here today by Japanese Ambassador, Mr Yasukuni Enoki, and Additional Secretary in Finance Ministry, Mr S.G. Mankad.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 30, 2005)
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