In a groundbreaking move towards sustainable urban development, Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Limited (K-RIDE) has inked a historic agreement with KfW Bank valued at approximately Rs. 4500 Crores (500 EUR). This collaboration aims to usher in an environmentally conscious, energy-efficient, and integrated public transportation system.
KfW Bank representing the Indian Ministry Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), recently signed two pivotal agreements with the Indian Ministry of Finance. These include a development loan of EUR 370 million and a promotional loan of EUR 130 million.
The allocated funds are earmarked for the ambitious implementation of a state-of-the-art suburban railway system in Bengaluru, India’s third largest city, to supplement the existing metro and bus system. The plan is to build a 149-kilometre stretch of suburban railway line with 58 stations along with two depots for maintenance and parking of the trains.
The project’s primary objective is to facilitate rapid transfers between different public transport systems such as the metro, buses, rickshaws and trains at all the relevant long-distance stations. Anticipated to cater approximately 1.4 million passengers daily, this initiative aligns with the broader goal of enhancing mobility and reducing traffic congestion.
All proposed railway stations are set to be certified as “green buildings” incorporating advanced features such as insulation, fine-dust filters, waste separation systems, sustainable building materials and photovoltaic panels on the station roofs. To provide easier access to the metro, footpaths and cycle paths will be extended for approximately 500 metres around the metro stations.
Mr. Christiane Laibach, Member of the Executive Board of KfW Group, said “The rapid population and economic growth in Bengaluru has resulted in increasing traffic volumes, which are hampering economic development and have a negative impact on the environment, climate and health of the population. This trend and the simultaneous increase in pollutants are to be counteracted by the implementation of the new suburban rail system in Bengaluru. The suburban railway will significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions per year. As a result, KfW is also contributing to improved mobility for the population and to reducing air pollution in Bengaluru.”
Significance of the Project:
- The venture is a pivotal component of the German-Indian Partnership for Green Urban Mobility. The partnership for clean, integrated and environmentally friendly mobility in Indian cities is contributing to the transition towards sustainable mobility.
- More than two million people now benefit each day from local public transport (metros, e-buses, ferries) whose services have been developed with German support. Construction work on the suburban railway will start in 2024 and extend over several years. The estimated cost of the project is around EUR 2 billion.
- The suburban railway project in Bengaluru also supports the climate partnership agreed between India and Germany in May 2022, which envisages Germany providing India with support amounting to EUR 10 billion by 2030.
Source: KfW- Press Release | Image Credit: Kfw
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