Kochi Metro Rail Limited and German Bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a Rs 590 crore loan to fund the development of integrated Water Transport Project.
The MoU was signed on 7th August 2015 at the KMRL office situated in Ernakulam, Kerala. The Government will provide 80% loan for the Rs 819 crore project.
Kochi Metro Rail & German Govt. funding agency sign MoU for Rs 590 Cr loan to dev. integrated water transport proj https://t.co/fb4OjvcWoG
— German Embassy India (@GermanyinIndia) August 12, 2015
This project hopes to ease the water transport for the local people to the islands which will eventually result into the boost in tourism and other businesses, and the development of rural areas.
Ms. Stephanie Rieger, Senior Project Manager of KfW, confirmed that both the parties came to this agreement after discussing for a week on this project.
According to the project report, it will include a fleet of 78 fast, fuel-efficient, and air-conditioned ferries to link Kochi with nearby areas like West Kochi, Kakkanad, and islands surrounding the city.
The KMRL is planning to give one-third of 78 ferries to the private sector. The required infrastructure like boat jetties and its access will be made.
A team of consultants has been assigned the work of acquiring the decided number of ferries will be acquired for a time period of four years as per the finalized specifications.
The deal for this project will be inked at the end of 2015 and the work on it will commence from the beginning of the next year. This is the first time when a loan is sanctioned for an 80% of the total cost.
Mr. Elias George, MD of KMRL, said that the loan will be repaid at an interest rate of 1.60% in 20 years’ time.
Ms. Rieger believes that this deal will be beneficial for both the public transport systems – railways and water.
Currently, the KMRL is awaiting the official nod from the state government and is expected to get within a week.