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Bangalore, Feb. 16

THE Bangalore metro rail project will soon be galvanised into implementation with early Central clearances in the coming weeks, the Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, said on Wednesday.

The Rs 6200-crore, 33-km project, which being jointly promoted by the State and the Centre with FI funding, is before the Public Investment Board which has sought certain routine clarifications from the Ministry. The note would be sent to the board in a couple of days. Thereafter, the project will need to get the clearance of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and the Cabinet. "Our target is (to see) that it should be through in one-and-a-half months," Mr Azad told reporters after a review of urban projects in the city.

The State Government hopes to have the ground-breaking event in May.

The estimates include construction cost of Rs 5,605 crore, Rs 347 crore for rolling stock and Rs 255 crore for debt servicing. According to Mr K.N. Shrivastava, Managing Director of Bangalore Mass Rapid Transit Ltd, the State Government will contribute Rs 1,807 crore, the Centre Rs 1,447 crore, while a consortium of around 20 FIs led by UTI Bank and including LIC will be financing the project up to Rs 3,000 crore.

"We are negotiating with the Japanese Government for an aid amounting to 50 per cent of the project cost but have not tied it up so far. The State Government has made alternative arrangements through FIs," Mr Azad said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 17, 2005)
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