Metro proposals for Vizag and Vijayawada move at snail pace

Hyderabad:  Even after a gap of more than a year, Andhra Pradesh government has failed to push forward the prestigious metro rail projects envisaged in the Mobility Plan constituted for the cities of Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada.

Sources said showing little interest in the projects, the Transport department has failed to do even the basic homework required for the preparation of the Detail Project Report (DPR). “Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada fulfill the criteria for having Metro Rail service as both of these have more than 10 lakh population,” sources said, adding that Metro projects have been kept in the Mobility Plans as a solution to ease the increasing traffic rush in the two cities. Sources said the Transport department had engaged Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) to prepare a comprehensive mobility plan for Visakhapatnam and for Vijayawada to have circuit metro connect with Guntur and Tenali regions after taking all aspects of mobility, including pedestrians, covering long term and short term measures into account to overcome traffic congestion and introduction of metro.  But, they said, even after holding series of meetings, the department was yet to prepare the DPR.

Sources said while the state government has in advance put a demand of Rs.30,000 crore before the Centre, but on the project formation, it has not progressed.

The Transport department has done nothing on this front. Recently few officials pulled up the functionaries and gave them two months time to come up with the DPR.

Sources said the Union Urban Development Ministry was taking keen interest in introduction of Metro Rail service in Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada (connecting Guntur-Vijayawada-Tenali) and offered volunteer support but the State did not approach the ministry for any assistance. However, Minister for Planning and Development, Ajay Sadhotra said the project was under the active consideration of the Centre and the state government was also busy in the process of DPR formation.  Pertinently earlier this year, state Planning department has demanded an estimated Rs.30,000 crore for the project from central government, which asked the government to first submit the  Detail Project Report.