INDIA: The Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of up to US$250m over 18 years for the US$2·7bn metro project currently under construction in Bangalore.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corp is building a 42·3 km standard-gauge network in the capital of Karnataka, comprising an 18·1 km east-west line with 17 stations linking Mysore Road with Byappanahalli, and a 24·2 km north-south route with 24 stations from Hesaraghatta Cross to Puttenahalli Cross. Around 9 km of route will be underground and the remainder at grade or elevated. The two lines will intersect at Majestic in the city centre.

The first 7 km elevated section from Baiyappanahalli to Cricket Stadium is due to be commissioned in the first half of 2011. Completion of Phase I is envisaged in 2013.

The project is being funded by the national and state governments, which are providing subordinated debt and equity, an ODA loan from the Japan International Co-operation Agency and commercial loans.

‘This is among the first major rail systems in India to use a leveraged finance model combining government funds with commercial loans,’ said Hayato Hoshi of ADB. ‘It is a critical model for infrastructure development in other cities in India, given the accelerating demand for timely infrastructure provision.’