Asian Development Bank (ADB) today said it will lend $176 million for the expansion of the metro line in Jaipur.

“The ADB will lend $176 million to extend the first metro train line in Jaipur and draw up plans to build a second line, reducing congestion and pollution in the fast-growing Indian heritage city,” the bank said in a statement.

Under the Jaipur Development Authority’s public transport plan, the local government is constructing 9.7 km elevated Line 1 metro train from Mansarovar, in the western part of the city, to Chandpole, on the western edge of the central business district.

This service is due to start operations in late 2013, it said.

“Building efficient mass transit transport to get people more quickly to their jobs, schools, and homes in Jaipur will help reverse the rising use of private cars, making the city a cleaner and safer place to work and live,” Dong Kyu Lee, Principal Transport Specialist in ADB’s South Asia Department said in the statement.

ADB’s loan will help finance an additional 2.3 km underground stretch from Chandpole to Badi Chopar which is likely to provide access to the central business district by March 2018.

By providing connections to the entire central business district, ADB’s extension is expected to carry 126,000 passengers every day during its first year of operation, and generate around 61 per cent of all the trips on Line 1.

“The construction of the Line 1 extension – to cost a total $259 million with the balance paid by the Government of Rajasthan – will be built to ensure that there is minimal risk from urban flash floods and other climate-related events,” ADB said.

ADB’s loan will also help finance studies into a planned 23 km long, north-south Line 2 metro line.