Andhra Pradesh ready to build metro rail in Vijayawada and Vizag with JICA help

CM Chandrababu Naidu and DMRC's principal advisor E. Sreedharan will meet on 9 September in Vijayawada to decide on the date for starting the project

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh expects to have metro rail projects running in two of its largest cities—Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada—by 2018, with financial assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has requested Delhi Metro Rail Corp.’s principal advisor E. Sreedharan to complete the first phases of Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam metro rail projects by August 2018 and December 2018, respectively.

Naidu’s request to Sreedharan came after the ministry of urban development rejected the Vijayawada metro rail project proposal because it does not conform to required norms. According to the ministry’s guidelines, a metro rail can come up in a city only if its population is more than 2 million. Vijayawada has a population of a little over 1 million, according to the 2011 Census.

Naidu informed Sreedharan and his team on Friday that the project can be executed with help from JICA. Sreedharan, who built the Delhi Metro, was asked to expedite the process of land procurement for the Vijayawada project.

The Vijayawada metro project will require 31 hectares of government and private land for the first phase, spanning two corridors and covering 26.03km. The project is estimated to cost 6,823 crore, according to a detailed project report submitted by Sreedharan in April.

“We should expedite the process of setting up a special purpose vehicle and appoint a permanent officer who will monitor the progress of the project," Naidu was quoted as saying in a government press release.

Naidu and Sreedharan will next meet on 9 September in Vijayawada to decide on the date for starting the project, and to discuss other issues.

Sreedharan was also asked to explore the possibility of developing a metro rail project in the state’s upcoming capital Amaravati and to check the feasibility of developing a light road transport system in the state.