Kochi: AFD (Agence Francaise de Developpement), French Development Agency, may no longer be the sole agency being considered for funding the 2nd phase of the Vyttila Mobility Hub with the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) also now in the reckoning. On Thursday, the crucial executive committee meeting of the Vyttila Mobility Hub Society (VMHS) to be chaired by the Chief Secretary may consider whether to opt for the AFD or go for KIIFB.
- The last meeting had entrusted KMRL (Kochi Metro Rail Limited) with the task of drawing up a DPR (Detailed Project Report) based on which the agency had submitted a conceptual plan to the District Collector last week.
- The project may need at least Rs 250 crore (approx US$ 39.06 Million) initially, according to sources.
- The AFD had offered to fund the 2nd phase development of the hub as part of its interest in associating with the development of integrated multi-model transport system following their association with Kochi Metro Rail.
More Attractive offer
- The offer was all the more attractive owing to rather rock-bottom interest rate of 1.35 per cent & a repayment window of 20 years after a 5-year moratorium.
- However, it is now learnt that the Vyttila Mobility Hub Society (VMHS) may consider loans from KIIFB considering the possibility of having to pay higher interest owing to the exchange rate fluctuation on availing of AFD assistance.
- The plan is to take an average & calculate the interest rates based on which the agency to be approached would be decided.
- The VMHS may have to take a decision soon considering that the 2nd phase development spread over 25 acres would have to be completed before Kochi Metro starts operation through the stretch.
- The 2nd phase development of the hub should ideally have parking facility for not less than 1,000 2-wheelers & 800 4-wheelers as was initially planned.
- At present, the hub has 13 bus bays to park 42 buses while the objective is to develop a terminal with 139 bays for city services, converting the existing terminal into one for inter-State services.