AIIB lends $500m to reduce Mumbai congestion

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said today that it would lend $500m to rail and road projects in Mumbai.

Projects set to benefit include the quadrupling of the capacity of the road corridor between the cities of Virar and Dahanu to the north of Mumbai, and an extension of suburban railway services. There will also be a railway between the southern suburb of Panvel and the town of Karjat, about 28km south-east of Mumbai.

That AIIB added that 36 sections of existing lines would undergo safety work, including track segregation and more pedestrian crossings.

The projects are part of the $1bn third phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project.

The loan brings total AIIB loans to India to almost $3bn, making it the largest recipient of the bank’s infrastructure funding.

The bank’s chief investment officer, DJ Pandian, said: "Over the past four years, AIIB’s investments in India have grown exponentially. This is a clear sign of our valuable partnership. AIIB will continue aligning its commitments with the government’s priorities, with the bank serving as a catalyst to India’s continued development."

Mumbai’s 400km suburban rail network transports more than 7.5 million passengers a day, making it one of the busiest in the world.

In October, AIIB made a loan of $75m to Tata Cleantech Capital to boost renewable energy, power transmission and water infrastructure.

The AIIB was started by 67 counties in 2016 and India is the second largest shareholder after China.

The suburban Mumbai rail network is one of the busiest in the world (Emmanuel Nalli/

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