India and Japan on Friday signed agreements for loans and a grant worth a total of 232.86 billion yen ($2.11 billion) for important infrastructure projects. This includes Tokyo’s first-ever aid for a project in the strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands and a 119.9-billion yen loan for phase IV of the Delhi Metro, the Hindustan Times reported.
Despite the fact that the grant of 4.02 billion yen for improving power supply in the Andaman and Nicobar islands was far smaller than loans for larger projects in other parts of the region, it is seen as important in terms of India and Japan’s commitment to work towards a free Indo-Pacific, the report said.
An official of the Japanese embassy told HT that this was the first ever official development assistance (ODA) project in the strategic islands of Andaman and Nicobar, apart from emergency humanitarian assistance. “Due to its geopolitical location, Andaman and Nicobar Islands play a crucial role in our shared vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” they said.
According to the official, cooperation between the two countries on these islands demonstrates their dedication to achieving a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
CS Mohapatra, additional secretary in the finance ministry, and Japanese ambassador Satoshi Suzuki signed the loan and grant agreements. According to the official, the grant is greater than Japan’s normal grant of 500 million yen for such projects around the world. The money would be used to buy 15MWh batteries and power system stabilisers so that a solar system in South Andaman, including Port Blair, will provide stable electricity.
The 119.9 billion yen loan will be used to construct three priority corridors in Delhi Metro Phase IV: the extension of Line 7 (Mukundpur to Maujpur, 12.6 km), Line 8 (Janakpuri West to RK Ashram, 28.9 km), and a new corridor between Aerocity and Tughlakabad (23.6 km).