Green, safe and affordable public transport for Kanpur as EIB invests €650 million into city metro rail

The European Investment Bank(link is external) (EIB) will invest €650 million into the construction of Kanpur’s first city metro line, enabling some 3 million people in the city of Kanpur, India, to benefit from green, safe, fast and affordable public transport. The new metro rail system will reduce commuting hours and unlock new employment and education opportunities in Kanpur, the industrial capital of Uttar Pradesh(link is external). This is the second metro rail project supported by the EIB in Uttar Pradesh(link is external), following the €450 million investment in the development of a metro rail system in the city of Lucknow.

The second biggest EIB operation outside the EU to date will finance the construction of a 32.4 km urban rail line, with 18 elevated and 12 underground stations. Once completed, Kanpur metro rail will create 1 100 new jobs and enable around 116 million more affordable commutes each year.

This is the fifth EIB investment in green infrastructure and connectivity in India and the second in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The EU bank has invested in metro rail systems in Bhopal(link is external)Pune(link is external)Bangalore(link is external) and Lucknow(link is external). With the Kanpur investment, the total amount of the EIB’s approved support for metro rail systems in India has reached €2.65 billion, more than half of the entire EIB investment portfolio in India.

In addition to creating an affordable and accessible public transport network and a reliable alternative to heavily congested streets, the new metro will reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality across the city. With easier access to the local job market, healthcare and education for residents, Kanpur metro rail will have a positive impact on quality of life and doing business, and increase safety for female travellers.

Andrew McDowell, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, said: “Kanpur is the fifth metro rail project to receive EIB funds in India and the biggest investment made by the Bank outside the EU. The metro will have a positive impact on quality of life and doing business in the city through access to affordable transport, creating new employment and education opportunities. It will be a safe, green and affordable transport alternative for Kanpur and its visitors. We are also glad to see this project is contributing to global climate action while strengthening EU-India relations.”

H.E. Ugo Astuto, the EU Ambassador to India, said: “At the last summit on 15 July, the EU and India discussed how to put climate action and the green transition at the heart of our economic recovery post COVID. Sustainable mobility is a key component of this strategy, towards modern, clean and healthy economies. The Kanpur project is an important investment in making public transport efficient, safe and sustainable. I am happy to see the European Investment Bank fully engaged in this transformational process.”

Kumar Keshav, Managing Director of Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation, said: “UPMRC is extremely thankful to European Investment Bank for their continued support for the development of metro rail projects in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Comfortable, fast, safe, energy efficient and affordable public transport systems like metros are needed for cities to become the engines of growth in our country. The faith and whole-hearted support of the EIB in funding the Lucknow metro, a world-class metro system in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh ahead of the stipulated time and within the approved cost is a source of pride for all of us. On behalf of the UPMRC team, I again assure you that fulfilling the trust shown by the EIB in funding the Kanpur metro project will be our highest priority in delivering this prestigious project on time, which will further accelerate the long-term economic and social development of the city.”

The EIB investment will accelerate the social and economic recovery of the city in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and support the long-term re-emergence of the local economy. The investment also bolsters the Government of India and its Urban Development “Smart Cities Mission”,(link is external) as Kanpur is one of the first 100 targeted Smart Cities in the country.

The Kanpur metro rail project will help India achieve a number of UN Sustainable Development Goals(link is external) (SDGs), namely SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 11 (sustainable cities) and SDG 5 (gender equality).

About the EIB:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

About the EIB in India:

Since the beginning of its operations in India in 1993, the EIB has supported 17 projects in the country and invested close to €4.2 billion in transport, energy, agriculture, fisheries and forestry projects as well as India’s small and medium enterprises.

For more details about the EIB in India, please follow this link(link is external).

About the EIB in Asia:

For 25 years, the EIB has supported economic development in Asia and the Pacific region through projects ranging from cutting travel times for the people of Bangalore with a new metro line, to providing cheaper, cleaner energy to western Nepal.

In Asia, the EIB’s focus is our lending on climate action across all sectors. Through our financing, we act as a catalyst to attract the funding needed to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. We also work to include gender equality in our projects, ensuring that women, men, girls and boys can benefit from projects equally and equitably.

Source: EU Delegation, New Delhi