The Bangalore Metro Railway Corporation (BMRC) will issue a tax free Metro Bond to raise Rs 2,000 crore for the first phase of the project. The bond, pending with the Union Finance Ministry at present for clearance, is expected to hit the market in a few days, the Union Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna said on Friday.

“Bangalore Metro is pioneer in bringing out such a Metro Bond. It will increase domestic market borrowing and decrease dependence on external commercial borrowings. The Urban Development Ministry is supporting the bond,” said Krishna.

He commended efforts of the Karnataka government for trying different methods to raise funds for the Bangalore Metro Corporation. He said the Karnataka government has raised infrastructure fund from cesses on sales tax, stamp duty and others. Other states should learn form this, he said.

“Keeping in view the escalating cost, the Centre is seriously considering PPP and other alternative models to mobilise resources for metro projects,” Krishna said, adding that the Urabn Development Ministry was suggesting alternative modes of transport to urban development authorities as metro rail is a costly option.

He said that factors like population of a city and the viability are important for a metro project.

Celebrating 100 days of metro run in Bangalore, BMRC Chief N Sivasailam complimented the citizens for their excellent behaviour. “No scratch, no spiting and no misbehaviour. We opened it on the new year day as well,” he said.

He said people have shown great response to the Reach-1 from Baiyappanhalli to MG Road station. we have more commuters on weekends as people of Bangalore go out on weekends. He said that around 20,000 commuters take the metro on weekdays and the count escalates to 40,000 on weekends. “On the first Sunday, we had 85,000 commuters,” Sivasailam added.

“We will meet the deadline,”

Sivasailam claimed, adding that the first phase of Bangalore metro will be completed on time.

He added that the stretch of 42 kms will be completed by December 2013.

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