Residents of Visakhapatnam will finally get to travel aboard a Light Metro Rail as the project was finally approved by the central and state governments, to be taken up at a cost of Rs 8,000 crore.
According to the agreement, the Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation (AMRC) will bear 50% of the project cost, while the remaining would be taken care of under the PPP-mode and oversight of the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA).
The announcement came after officials met with AMRC Managing Director N P Ramakrishna Reddy and Minister for Municipal Administration P Narayana.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, VUDA Vice Chairman P Basanth Kumar told reporters that a Detailed Project Report (DPR) would be prepared and sent soon.
In January this year, the Andhra Pradesh government made a fresh plea to the Centre for the construction of metro rail projects in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.
The plea was submitted by state Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a meeting in New Delhi.
According to a proposal, the project's first phase is projected to cover a distance of 42.54 km from Gajuwaka to Kommadi, under the limits of the GVMC.
Speaking to TNM last year, AMRC MD Ramakrishna Reddy had also confirmed that in a pre-bidding of VMR, which was held on October 12, 2017, as many as 11 reputed national and 7 international consultants had evinced interest.
When asked about the extension of VMR till Bhogapuram, where an international airport is expected to be constructed, Reddy said "Since no airport has come up yet, we are considering that weâ€™ll extend it in the future."
In a related development, India's 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan, who was working as an advisor to the Andhra Pradesh government on Vijayawada and Vizag metro rail projects, had submitted his resignation to Naidu last year, further complicating things.