>@Pierre Deprez/EIB
©Pierre Deprez/EIB

Lucknow’s first metro, financed by a EUR 450 million (Rs.33 billion) long-term loan from the European Investment Bank, is ready for its first passengers.

The construction of the 23km long new metro line and purchase of a fleet of metro trains was finished one year ahead of schedule. The line is the first part of an expected broader metro network planned for the capital of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India. Once operational the new metro is expected to increase use of public transport from 10% to an estimated 27% in the city of 3 million people. 30% of the trains will be operated and driven by female train operators. In addition, 40% of all the station controllers/train operators will also be females. The project will not only reduce traffic and cut journey times but will make a valuable contribution to lowering emissions.

“Opening a year ahead of schedule, the Lucknow Metro is a success story. We are impressed by the quality of work of our Indian partners and how the project went ahead so fast,” said EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell, responsible for lending operations in South Asia. “The project is one of the largest commitments of the European Investment Bank in India and the most significant support for sustainable transport outside Europe. The first metro line in Lucknow is a flagship project not only for Uttar Pradesh and India, but also for the EU Bank. It marks a new era in our engagement in the country.”

The Ambassador of the European Union to India, Tomasz Kozlowski, welcomed the news, "I congratulate the citizens of Lucknow and all those who contributed to the building of the Lucknow Metro Project. It is a great achievement. I am happy that the European Investment Bank has also contributed to this success. EIB's growing engagement in India is another confirmation of the EU's determination to successfully implement the EU-India Partnership for sustainable development and modernization."