New Delhi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has offered $150 million loan for expansion of railway tracks and improving overall service.
The programme will help India improve rail services along some of its busiest freight and passenger transport routes, providing double-track for about 840 km of rail routes and electrifying about 640 km, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Finance.
New signaling will also be installed. ADB will also support accounting reforms to improve operational and financial efficiency at Indian Railways, it said.
Venu Rajamony, a joint secretary at the Department of Economic Affairs, and Hun Kim, ADB country director for India, signed the loan agreement in New Delhi.
The ADB’s concessional loan is meant for Railway Sector Investment Programme, which is aimed at improving rail freight services and passenger transport routes.
Total cost of the Railway Sector Investment Programme is $1,144.6 million, out of which loan assistance from ADB is $500 million and the Indian government’s funding is $644.6 million.
The ADB will provide the loan in four tranche. Tuesday’s agreement was for the first tranche.
The new railway programme will help reduce fuel consumption and enhance energy efficiency, reduce pollution, enhance railway safety, increase the line capacity, benefiting consumers and producers of goods and services, improve staff productivity, and incorporate innovating financing modalities by pursuing carbon credits under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.