In a major boost to Visakhapatnam, and Krishna and Guntur districts, the AP Government on Monday set the ball rolling for construction of two metro rail projects by assigning the task of conducting feasibility study to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
Andhra Pradesh government said that two metro rail projects — Vizag Metro Rail and Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali-Mangalagiri Metro Rail (VGTM) – would be completed within three and a half years.
Chief Minister Naidu’s insistence on the VGTM metro also reinforces the TDP government’s decision that the state capital would be established along the Vijayawada-Guntur corridor, in spite of the Shivaramakrishnan Committee report suggesting other places.
The two projects are expected to boost overall development and bring in investments to Vizag city and to the VGTM region in Krishna and Guntur districts.
The state government has brought in DMRC as its main consultant and to conduct a feasibility study and advise the government on both metro rail projects from bidding to selection to construction. DMRC principal advisor E Sreedharan has been appointed as the advisor for the government of AP on the metro rail projects.
In a meeting with E Sreedharan, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu discussed how soon the two metro rail projects could be completed and set a tentative deadline of 3.5 years. The state government has also proposed a metro rail project for Tirupati. However, the Tirupati metro rail project would be taken up once the Visakhapatnam and VGTM projects are completed.
The Chief Minister has asked Sreedharan to prepare a feasibility report for a rail based mass rapid transit system in other cities too. I&PR and IT Minister P Raghunath Reddy said the VGTM will have four corridors covering nearly 50 kms in the first phase while the Vizag Metro will have three corridors covering approximately 40 kms in the first phase.
On August 1, the AP Cabinet gave its nod for the two metro projects. On August 14, two special purpose vehicles (SPVs) were set up through a Government Order to oversee the two projects. Each SPV will have a board of directors and a project director. The three corridors of Vizag Metro are according to suggestions made by Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation — NAD Junction to Maddelapalem (11 kms), NAD Junction to Gajuwaka (14 kms), and Railway Station to Gajuwaka (14 kms).
The VGTM will have Vijayawada-Mangalagiri, Mangalagiri-Guntur, Mangalagiri-Tenali and Guntur-Tenali corridors. The VGTM Urban Development Authority has jurisdiction over 7000 sq kms comprising municipal corporations of Vijayawada and Guntur, and municipalities of Mangalagiri, Tenali, Gudivada, Ponnur, Sattenpalli, Nuzvedu and Tadepalli in Krishna and Guntur districts.