Andhra government suggests Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation to ‘level down’ rail project

TDP govt had planned it to be elevated, change in design sought now

VIJAYAWADA: In a bid to promote sustainable transportation between Vijayawada-Amaravati-Guntur-Tenali, the State government has decided to shelve the earlier designed elevated corridor, Semi-High Speed Circular Rail project and instead take it as an ‘at grade section’ project (at the same level of the road), if the plans materialise.

The project, when conceived by the previous TDP government, was an elevated one but the new government wants to change the project design to bring down the cost. Speaking to TNIE on Monday, Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation Limited (AMRCL) managing director NP Ramakrishna Reddy said the government has proposed the project to provide quick mode of transportation to the capital Amaravati from nearby cities and towns, to reduce undue population pressure on the road network and to help in the economic growth of the satellite cities and towns.

Gurugram-based Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC) was entrusted with the task of preparing a feasibility report and detailed project report in coordination with the AP Capital Region Development Area (APCRDA), he said. In its preliminary feasibility report submitted earlier, the agency had estimated the project length to be 104 km at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 crore.

In a recent review meeting with the AMRCL officials, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the officials to materialise the project as ‘at grade section’ to reduce the cost of expenditure following the Suburban Rail Policy-2017. He also suggested to take up the project according to top priority on developing modern facilities and greenery alongside the existing railway lines and through utilising the lands on a lease basis.

Elaborating further, the AMRCL chief said that the Ministry of Railways will take up about 19-km-railway line works between Amaravati-Namburu section, following the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act- 2014. The remaining 85 km length of railway line will be developed under joint venture model with 20 per cent equity from the State government and the Ministry of Railways; funding for 60 per cent of the balance can be availed in form of soft loan from banks and financial institutions, according  to the provisions stated in the Suburban Rail Policy.

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