Injecting a major financial booster to the Rs 5,537-crore Kochi Metro Rail project, the Central government has recently allotted Rs.462.17 crore in the 2014-15 Budget for fast tracking the project. Out of the total funds, Rs. 233.43 crore has been sanctioned as equity contribution and Rs. 66.95 crore as interest-free subordinate debt, while Rs.161.79 crore is loan, said Managing Director of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), Elias George, adding that the latest allocation is Rs. 332.17 crore more than that in the 2013 budget and the revised estimate for 2013-14, an additional provision of Rs. 20 crore towards equity has also been made available. In totality, the State and Central governments are expected to pool in Rs 753.73 crore each for the project. Similarly, the loan expected from French external lending agency AFD is approximately Rs.1,500 crore and that from Canara Bank is Rs.1,170 crore. The State had earmarked Rs.242.47 crore for augmenting roads and bridges in the city as part of metro’s preparatory works – building A.L. Jacob bridge, rebuilding North bridge and widening Banerjee Road, MG Road and South railway station approach road and that additional funds are also expected for Pachalam over bridge.
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