ADB, India sign $120-mn loan pact to improve rail infrastructure


Agencies, New Delhi The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India has signed a $120 million loan agreement for completion of works for double-tracking and electrification of railway tracks along high-density corridors in India to improve operational efficiency of the country’s railway networks. The $120-million financing is the third tranche of a $500-million financing facility for the Railway Sector Investment Programme approved by ADB’s Board in 2011. The loan amount will be used to complete the ongoing works started in the project’s first two tranches. Department of Economic Affairs Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions) Sameer Kumar Khare on Wednesday signed the loan agreement for the Government of India, and ADB’s India Resident Mission Kenichi Yokoyama signed Country Director on behalf of ADB. “The project is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the rail infrastructure through electrification, introduction of modern signaling system, and doubling rail tracks on key routes in the country. The program will help develop energy-efficient, safe, and reliable railway system that will result in reduced travel time along project rail routes and improve operational and financial efficiency,” said Mr. Khare after signing the agreement. “Funding for the project’s third tranche will contribute toward achieving the overall program outputs of double-tracking about 840 kilometers (km) of rail routes and electrification of 640 km of tracks along high density corridors,” said Mr Yokoyama. “The program is also helping implement new accounting systems and provide additional safety measures including collision avoidance equipment.” The investment program is targeting busy freight and passenger routes in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Odisha, including the “Golden Quadrilateral” corridor that connects Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi. The doubling of rail sections is being implemented along Daund-Titlagarh section, Sambalpur-Titlagarh section, Raipur-Titlagarh Section, and Hospet-Tinaighat section, while electrification is being undertaken along the 641-km Pune-Wadi Guntakal section.