The airport metro project is set to gain momentum with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) seeking a loan worth 500 million USD. The BMRCL will also request Rs 500 crore as aid from the Centre. The move comes after a proposal to raise funds through the User Development Fee (UDF) has been put off. Managing Director Ajay Seth said the corporation is looking for the $500 million, ideally in a long-term loan of up to 20 years with a moderate interest rate. The formal request for a loan has to go through the Union government.
“We have held a discussion with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The request is yet to be sent to the Union government,” he said. The BMRCL is trying to shore up funds for the project after the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) in June blocked a proposal to raise Rs 1,000 crore through UDF. As per the AERA ruling, additional UDF can be levied after the metro services begin. The corporation will also seek Rs 500 crore from the Centre as per the new metro policy, where the Union government will provide 10% of the cost for a project, raising funds through innovative financing models. As per the financial plan approved by the cabinet, the state government is expected to pitch in Rs 1,250 crore, and the Centre, Rs 500 crore (8.40% of the project’s cost). The alignment of the metro line to the airport is likely to be revised with the BMRCL planning to connect the line at Hebbal instead of Nagavara.