The groundwork for the Rs. 8,300 crore Visakhapatnam Metro Rail project to be taken up in PPP (public-private partnership) is likely to be laid in February with a view to starting operations by December 2023, according to Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Karikal Valaven.
On Wednesday, he was speaking at a meeting on the Metro project at the VMRDA Office.
‘No land problem’
Mr. Valavan expressed It was the biggest metro rail project being taken up under the public-private partnership. The Principal Secretary and N.P. Ramakrishna Reddy, Managing Director of Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation, made a presentation on the project to MP K. Haribabu, Government Whip P.G.V.R. Naidu and MLAs P. Vishnu Kumar Raju and Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar.
Mr. Reddy expressed 92.4 % of the land required was that of the government and hence there was no problem. No Objection Certificate from the National Highways Authority of India was awaited and Permission from the Railways was given. Two depots were proposed for Metro Rail one depot at Hanumanthavaka, one Visakhapatnam Port Trust was allotting land for one depot near the airport.
District Collector Pravin Kumar, Metropolitan Commissioner P. Basanth Kumar and Municipal Commissioner M. Hari Narayanan participated in the deliberations.
Metro Rail is designed on three corridors running for a length of 42.55 km.
Budget Rs. 4,200 crore required for civil infrastructure will be invested by the State government by obtaining a loan from the Korean government besides operations’ support for 10 years to make up for the rider-ship shortfall. The non-civil infrastructure cost of Rs. 4,100 crore has to be invested by the private developer.
The government has decided to allow 250 acres of government land free of cost to AMRC for repayment of a loan that will finally come to Rs. 6,500 crore in 20 years.
AMRC will call for separate tenders for development of commercial and residential properties, IT SEZs and malls to earn revenue for the repayment of the loan.
As per the new Metro Policy, the Union government gives a grant of 10 % of the investment being made by the State government.
Request for Proposals have been issued to Shapoorji Pallomji, TRIL Urban Transport Private Limited, Adani Private Limited, ESSEL Infra Limited and IL & FS Rail Limited and the last date for receiving the bid documents is January 21.
Mr. Haribabu guaranteed his support to the project as per the New Metro Policy under which 10 % of the State government investment would be footed by the Union government, it was learnt.
Mr. Vishnu Kumar Raju wanted the Metro Rail lengthened up to Anandapuram in view of the location of engineering colleges and government housing coming up at Kommadi and Madhurawada. The Collector asked the MD to consider it in view of the Greenfield airport proposed and the six-lane highway coming up.