The Hyderabad Metro Rail in Telangana, dubbed to be the largest metro rail project in the world taken up under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, is waiting to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 28.
Even as the city celebrates, its neighbouring Telugu state of Andhra Pradesh is also building up momentum to speed up the two Metro Rail projects in the state – in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.
Both the projects are being overseen by the Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation (AMRC).
Speaking to TNM, AMRC Managing Director NP Ramakrishna Reddy spoke about the latest development in both the projects.
Vijayawada Metro Rail
In October this year, on the invitation of the AMRC, eight international consultants submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Vijayawada Metro Rail, while German Development Bank Kfw had come forward to fund the project.
"We are keen on expediting the procedure. The eight international consultants were asked to submit their DPR by November 30, following which submissions will be examined by the middle of December, and the proposals will be sent to the Centre."
The decision, on whether to go for a PPP model, or execute it with complete government funding, will be decided by mid-2018, Reddy said.
The Vijayawada Metro Rail project took shape in June 2014 when a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) was formed.
In October this year, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the AMRC and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was reportedly cancelled, after the AMRC proposed a light metro rail, in line with the Centre’s suggestion, while the DMRC proposed a medium metro rail
The AMRC had made the proposal after the Union finance ministry refused to approve the Vijayawada Metro Rail in May this year, stating that the Centre did not find it financially viable.
When asked about the seemingly slow-moving pace of the project, Reddy said "Take Kochi Metro Rail for example. It was proposed in 2004, while work started in 2013. There are several procedures which have to be finalised by the concerned governments, and we are dealing them."
Vizag Metro Rail
Another much awaited metro project, is the Vizag Metro Rail. As per a proposal, the project's first phase will cover a distance of 42.54 km from Gajuwaka to Kommadi, under the limits of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC).
Expressing enthusiasm to hand over the project to developers, Reddy said "As far as the Vizag metro is concerned, it has already been decided to move forward with the PPP model."
Earlier this month, the Korean Exim Bank had shown interest in investing Rs 4,500 crore, in the Vizag Metro Rail project, the total cost of which, is estimated to be Rs 9,000 crore.
The MD 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 we’ll extend it in the future."
When asked about land acquisition in Visakhapatnam, he said, "The state government has its own lands, and is keen on working on a war footing, to make sure that the company that takes up the project will execute the works swiftly.”
This also comes two months after India's 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan, who was working as an advisor to the Andhra Pradesh government on both metro rail projects, had submitted his resignation to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Meanwhile in Telangana, the 72-km elevated Hyderabad Metro Rail project which was taken up in 2012 at a cost of Rs 14,132 crore, is all set to be inaugurated on November 28. The entire project, barring a 5-km stretch in the Old City area and about a 1 km stretch between Hitec city and Raidurg, is likely to completed by the end of 2018.