India Signs $500-Million Loan Pact With ADB For Delhi-Meerut Highway
Light trails from passing traffic are seen outside the Roseate New Delhi hotel, operated by the Bird Group, in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

India Signs $500-Million Loan Pact With ADB For Delhi-Meerut Highway

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India has signed a $500 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank for funding the 82-km-long Delhi-Meerut highway.

With a design speed of 180 km/hour and high-frequency operations of every 5-10 minutes, the 82-km corridor connecting Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi to Modipuram in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, is expected to reduce the journey time to about one hour.

"The Asian Development Bank and the Government of India today signed a $500 million loan, the first tranche of a total $1 billion facility, to build a modern, high-speed 82-km Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System corridor that will improve regional connectivity and mobility in India’s National Capital Region,” the multi-lateral investing agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

The signatories to the loan agreement were Sameer Kumar Khare, additional secretary (Fund Bank and ADB) of Department of Economic Affairs, and Kenichi Yokoyama, country director of ADB's India Resident Mission.

The first tranche of the loan will support construction of the first of the three priority rail corridors planned under the NCR Regional Plan 2021 to connect Delhi to other cities in adjoining states.

"The project will provide better connectivity to allow other towns in NCR to develop as urban economic centres surrounded by residential areas while easing the concentration pressure on Delhi," said Khare after signing the agreement.

"The project is expected to have a transformational impact on the development trajectory of the national capital region by introducing high-level technologies for RRTS, signaling, and station designs," Yokoyama said.

"Besides, the project will also support transit-oriented development with systematic urban and land use planning around the RRTS corridor while promoting value capture financing to generate additional municipal revenues," he added.

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