VIJAYAWADA: The Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation (AMRC) may continue to hope to avail financial assistance from the Union government for the proposed light metro project in Vijayawada, but going for Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the execution of the project seems inevitable. While the AMRC officials are preparing to present a strong case with the help of MPs in the ongoing Parliament session, which will resume on March 5, they are also exploring the feasibility of PPP mode.Sources said that AMRC managing director NP Ramakrishna Reddy has met Guntur MP Galla Jayadev and explained the status of the project. “Since the MPs are fighting for the implementation of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the MD met Jayadev so that the latter can argue in favour of the project in the Parliament session which will resume on March 5,” another official said.
Even though the Vijayawada metro project was one of the major provisions in the AP Reorganisation Act (APRA), 2014, the Union government, in the Metro Rail Policy, 2017, made PPP component mandatory for availing Central assistance for new metro projects. With the Union Ministry of Finance suggesting that a new detailed project report (DPR) be sent for a light metro project as per the norms of the new metro rail policy, it remains unclear if Vijayawada metro would get financial assistance from the Centre or not.
“If one observes the Union government’s attitude, it is clear that it is reluctant to fund the metro project. That is the reason it asked us to go for a light metro two years after submitting the DPR for medium metro,” said a senior official from the municipal and urban development department.The official explained that going for PPP may be the fastest way to execute the much-delayed project. “Since the new metro rail policy mandates private component, we will prepare the DPR accordingly. If the Ministry of Finance approves it, we will get some portion of the funds. If not, we will go for PPP mode and try to get some expenditure reimbursed. Either ways, PPP maybe the way forward,” the official observed.
Speaking to TNIE, AMRC MD NP Ramakrishna Reddy said, “Even though the new DPR would be prepared in accordance with the new policy, we will make a compelling argument to get maximum funding from the Centre. If there is no response, we will go for PPP like the Visakhapatnam metro project.”Meanwhile, the agreement between the AMRC and France-based Systra Group for the preparation of light metro DPR is expected to be signed in the next week. “The Systra Group has sent communication that a meeting will be held in Frankfurt, Germany, early next week. The agreement will be signed then,” the AMRC officials said.