The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to invest €650m to support the construction of a metro rail system in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India.

The funding will be utilised for the construction of a 32.4km metro line with 18 elevated and 12 underground stations.

Once complete, the project is expected to benefit around three million people by providing them with a faster transportation alternative. It is also expected to create 1,100 new jobs.

The metro system will also help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality in the city.

It is the fifth metro rail project in India and the second in Uttar Pradesh to receive EIB funding.

The bank has previously extended financing for Bhopal, Pune, Bangalore and Lucknow metro rail projects.

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EIB vice-president Andrew McDowell 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 the 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.”

Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail (UPMRC) managing director Kumar Keshav said: “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.”

Since 1993, EIB has invested around €4.2bn in India to support project across several sectors, including transport, energy and agriculture among others.