EIB invests US $780.6m into first city metro line in Kanpur India

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is set invest US $780.6m into the construction of the first city metro line in Kanpur, India enabling some 3 million people 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. This is the second metro rail project supported by the EIB in Uttar Pradesh, following the US $539.3m investment in the development of a metro rail system in the city of Lucknow.

Kanpur city metro line

The second biggest EIB operation outside the EU to date will finance the construction of a 32.4km 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, Pune, Bangalore and Lucknow. With the Kanpur investment, the total amount of the EIB’s approved support for metro rail systems in India has reached US $3.2bn, more than half of the entire EIB investment portfolio in India.

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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.

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”, as Kanpur is one of the first 100 targeted Smart Cities in the country.

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