German Bank KfW extends 545 million Euro funding to MMRDA infra projects – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: The Frankfurt-based German state-owned development bank KfW has extended two loans totaling over 545 million Euros or Rs 4,767 crore to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for infrastructure projects in Mumbai.

The funds to be disbursed through an agreement with India’s Ministry of Finance will be utilized to support two key mass transit projects in Mumbai. These projects are Metro line 4 from Wadala in central Mumbai to Kasarvadavli in Thane, and Metro line 4A that extends to the connectivity from Kasarvadavli to Gaimukh in Thane.

The fully elevated lines will have a total length of 34.82 km with 32 stations easing the distress of millions of commuters each day and help provide a cleaner, less congested city.

“Though it is good to take decisions to start mega transportation projects, which are very much required in Mumbai, it is more important to achieve financial closures and provide all support to project authorities like making available the required land etc, without which projects can’t be completed. I am happy that now Lines 4 and 4A do not have any major hurdle and hope that these will be completed on time,” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The credit package consists of a development loan of 345 million Euros and a promotional loan of 200 million Euros. The loans will have tenure of ranging from 15 years to 20 years with a grace option of five years.

According to R. A. Rajeev, Commissioner MMRDA, which is implementing the projects, the approved funds will cover system components for Mumbai’s Metro Line 4 and 4A, footpaths and cycle routes surrounding the stations to improve integration within the transport system. The 34 kilometers long Metro Line 4 will bring north-south connectivity, linking Mumbai to Thane.

“MMRDA is also working for mitigation of climate change by executing Metro projects across Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Once metro line 4 and 4A have begun operations, it will help save up to 121,000 tonne greenhouse gases every year, besides ensuring reduction in air pollution,” Rajeev said.

Of the 345 million Euros loan money approved, around 255 million Euros will be used on purchasing rolling stock and on integrated ticketing systems, while 90 million Euros will be utilised on multimodal integration systems.

The 545 million Euros loan amount approved by Kfw is the highest amount given to India ever before that too at the lowest rate of interest offered by any financial institution so far.

The rate of interest for 345 million Euros is 0.29% and 0.07%, while for 200 million Euros debt the rate of interest is 0.82%.

The government of Maharashtra’s body MMRDA is responsible for the infrastructure development of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The body is bringing significant development in the public transportation system by building 14 different metro line projects in Mumbai and MMR.

At present, due to no substitute and with just one Metro line in the city that is operational between Ghatkopar and Versova of 11km, commuters are compelled to travel in overcrowded suburban local trains that often lead to accidents.

However, once all metro lines are operational not just it will reduce the burden on local trains but will also relieve strain from commuter traffic, reduce traffic accidents and respiratory problems caused by air pollution and contribute to climate change mitigation.



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Mumbai: 140-yr-old chawl’s claim for damage by metro denied – ET RealEstate

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MUMBAI: Bombay high court dismissed a petition filed by residents of two 140-year-old Girgaum buildings alleging that ongoing underground work for the Mumbai Metro project had led to structural cracks and put occupants at serious risk.

The HC, on October 22, noted there were disputed questions of facts as the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) had denied its tunnelling or other work had caused the cracks. The bench said this required investigation which the high court could not undertake.

Within days of noticing “major cracks” in the walls, the Girgaum Ekta Cooperative Housing Society petitioned the HC on October 15 for urgent hearing and relief. The building is an ‘A’ category cessed building-constructed prior to 1940. Over 35 families reside in the two ground-plus-two storey chawls, which also has 10 shops. The building is 34m from the Girgaum Metro subway station. Counsel for the residents, V S Kapse and CN Kumar, informed the HC they were seeking damages as well as rehabilitation from the MMRCL.

In November 2016 and July 2017, the contractor had, after taking a no-objection from the society, carried out a pre-construction building condition survey. However, the society said a fresh survey needs to be conducted before permitting work to continue.

The MMRCL, which is implementing the underground Metro line 3 from Colaba to Seepz via Bandra, disputed the allegations. Its counsel Kazan Shroff submitted before a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni that it did carry out work in close proximity to the building, but the work was “completed long back”. “The cracks in the building are not the result of Metro work, but primarily due to its age and lack of proper maintenance,” he argued, the HC order recorded.

The residents said they had noticed in September that work was on at midnight at a site adjacent to the building, but they said MMRCL had “vehemently denied the claim”.

The HC asked the society to pursue civil litigation or any other permissible legal remedy “to establish its claim for damages”. The court, however, made it clear that residents could reside in the buildings “at their own risk and peril”. Soon after the HC order, MHADA began repair work on the cessed building, said Kapse.



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One per cent of stamp duty allocated to Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur metros – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: One per cent of all stamp duty levied on sale and purchase of property in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur will go towards completion of metro projects in those cities, the government has announced.

The decision comes in the middle of a pandemic-induced slowdown, when all major infrastructure projects in the state are struggling to raise funds.

A notification issued by the Urban Development Department on September 10 said as per the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, and Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, 1949, 1per cent of the revenue will be collected by the Stamps and Registration Department and given for Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur metro rail projects. The additional charge will be applicable on all property deals from February 8, 2019, it said.

The government is studying different fundraising models for major infrastructure projects, a department official said. “The stamp duty levied on property will help the projects immediately. The emphasis will be on continuing the projects and completing them within the deadline.”

Mumbai Mirror had reported on September 4 that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was struggling to raise funds for the metro project. If loans of Rs 29,000 crore do not come through in the next six months, the MMRDA may have to withdraw its fixed deposits of Rs 13,000 crore to fund big-ticket projects.

The planning agency has Rs 1.25 lakh crore tied up in 12 metro corridor projects, including around Rs 60,000 crore in seven under-construction lines and three that are in different stages of planning. Another key project is the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, estimated to cost Rs 23,000 crore and likely to be completed by 2022.

All of these infrastructure projects are capital intensive. Sources said that on average, the annual expenditure on the projects as well as human resources and ancillaries touches around Rs 7,000 crore.

Pune Metro, which will connect Pune Central and the areas of Pimpri and Chinchwad, is targeted for operations by the next year. Its estimated cost is of Rs 11,420 crore. Nagpur Metro Rail Project will consist of a 38.215-km corridor, 38 stations and 2 depots. It is estimated to cost Rs 8,260 crore and is expected to be completed by 2021.

The stamp duty is the largest revenue earner for the government, after GST and sales tax and VAT. In 2019-20, the state earned Rs 29,500 crore through stamp duty. In 2020-21, it expects to raise only an additional Rs 500 crore.



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