Around 86 percent of Mumbai commuters rely on public transport, but supply is not keeping up with demand. The Mumbai suburban railway network suffers from some of the most severe transport overcrowding in the world and has serious safety concerns.
So began our journey with the client—the Government of Maharashtra and the Ministry of Railways in India—with the Mumbai Urban Transport Project 3
. AIIB invested USD500 million in the project. India’s Ministry of Railway invested USD189 million and the Government of Maharashtra invested USD308 million, with Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) as the implementing entity.
AIIB funded the project because it aligns with the Bank’s strategies and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 9 on building resilient infrastructure and Goal 11 on sustainable cities and communities. The project will also further strengthen our capacity to finance broad-based sustainable rail infrastructure that are in high demand in other areas of India and in the region.
For the client, AIIB added value by helping in project preparation and will continue to do so during project implementation. We provided substantive inputs to enhance station design and maintenance, with gender responsiveness of station facilities to be monitored and evaluated through a preproject baseline survey and a dedicated gender-related project objective indicator.
MRVC—through Chairman and Managing Director Shri R. S. Khurana and Executive Director Sanjay Singh—said they appreciate AIIB’s assistance, namely (1) guiding MRVC through the preparation of the environmental and social management plan, (2) following international guidelines on environmental and social practices, (3) being quick in project appraisal and loan negotiation, (4) adopting a uniform and transparent procurement policy, (5) being prompt in responding to the client and making sure clearance of issues and documents was timely, (6) using new technology for project progress monitoring and (7) conducting speedy reviews of bid documents and the evaluation report.
Our client added that “AIIB, with their global experience and expertise, can help MRVC in capacity building such as upgrading existing infrastructure like rolling stock, station improvement, new signaling technology, new bridges and structures, energy management and construction technology.”
Other areas of possible collaboration, said the client, were transit-oriented development, increasing train operation efficiency, introducing MRVC officials to state-of-the-art technologies related to mass transit and a Rupee-denominated loan. In 2019, AIIB launched its local currency financing program
, with the Indian Rupee as one of the currencies in the product line.