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Railways to get Rs6,000 crore loan from Japan for 200 electric locomotives for freight corridor

LiveMint logoLiveMint 16-09-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Japanese government’s official lending arm Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Friday said it will extend a Rs6,000 crore loan to India for procuring 200 electric locomotives for Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC).

“Japan International Cooperation Agency signed an agreement with the government of India to provide official development assistance (ODA) loan of 108,456 million Japanese yen (approximately Rs6,000 crores) for procurement of 200 electric locomotives for the WDFC Project,” JICA said in a statement.

“The ODA loan’s conditions are very concessional, i.e. JPY LIBOR + 10 basis points interest rate (Japanese yen London inter-bank offered rate + 0.1%) for project activities and 30 years of repayment period (including 10 years of grace period),” according to the statement.

JICA is currently supporting the construction of civil and track works, electrification, including signalling and telecommunication system for WDFC between Delhi and Mumbai.

JICA-assisted WDFC project aims to cope with the increase of freight transport demand in India, thereby promoting comprehensive regional economic development along the freight corridor, JICA said. Inter-modal logistic handling systems are expected to improve and modernise through WDFC.

The new locomotives together with the dedicated railways, will enhance current freight capacity, catering increase in container traffic between the international container ports on the western coast and inland demand areas, it said.

The loan will also support the construction of a depot at Rewari, Haryana, for maintenance of the locomotives. The supplier of the locomotives is also expected to provide transfer of technology for indigenisation.

The ODA loan agreement was signed between Takema Sakamoto, chief representative, JICA India office and S Selvakumar, joint secretary, department of economic affairs, ministry of finance.

Speaking on the occasion, Sakamoto said, “JICA is fully committed towards the construction and completion of this initial logistical infrastructure of the DMIC (Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor). The DFC project will enhance freight capacity, making it a revolution for the industrial corridor”.

“JICA will continue to play an important role in the development of WDFC and will provide necessary assistance in the near future as well,” he added.

The ministry of railways would be responsible for procurement and maintenance of these electric locomotives, while Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. of India Ltd (DFCCIL) would be responsible for operating them, the statement said.

JICA has so far extended concessional ODA loans of ¥443 billion (approximately Rs26,000 crore) for development of the western DFC project in India.

The project will focus on constructing about 1,500 kms track of the western corridor between Delhi and Mumbai, connecting major cities in the Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana, as well as introducing new electric locomotives capable of high-speed, high-capacity transportation.

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