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Asian Development Bank to lend India $1.2bn for power and transport schemes

Chennai’s metro presently has two lines, but is to gain three more (KARTY JazZ/CC BY-SA 4.0)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed on Tuesday to lend the Indian government $1.2bn to improve transport and energy infrastructure, the Economic Times reports.

Quoting a statement from India’s finance ministry, the paper said the money would be used to improve electricity supply and highways in the northeastern states of Tripura and Assam, metro projects in the southern city of Chennai and improvements to “key economic areas” in the western state of Maharashtra.

In Tripura, the finance ministry said $220m would be used to strengthen electricity generation and distribution. In particular, the Rokhia power plant will be fitted with a more efficient combined-cycle gas turbine.

In Assam, $300m will go on upgrading 319km of highways and 149km of district roads. The ministry said the Assam schemes would “promote gender equality and social inclusion” and “set up integrated service centres to provide basic sanitation, education and other services”.

In Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, $350m will be spent on developing its metro network, which presently has two lines. The ADB said last month that this would involve the development of lines 3, 4 and 5 connecting central Chennai to suburbs in the south and west of the city.

Line 3 will have 10.1km of elevated rail, including nine stations; line 4 will have 10km of underground rail, also with nine stations; and for line 5, the investment will be used to finance system components such as electrical, mechanical, power and telecoms infrastructure.

The bank commented: “The investment project and the attached technical assistance project will improve the overall liveability, inclusiveness and competitiveness of the Chennai Metropolitan Area.”

In Maharashtra, $350m will be used to improve connectivity, although the ministry did not give details of what this would entail.

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