Officials hint at taking it up on a 50-km or 70-km stretch

Plans for a Metro rail project in the city may get a further fillip with the State government pushing for more coverage.

The Centre is according top priority for Metro rail projects in Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, and monitoring the progress quite regularly, it is learnt.

In the meetings the Municipal Administration Minister and top officials held during the last few days, an indication was given to go in for the Metro project on a 50-km or 70-km stretch.

Till now, the GVMC’s efforts have been focussed on getting the detailed project report (DPR) prepared for 25-km stretch based on studies of traffic density carried out.

The GVMC has called for global tenders for the DPR. So far, 14 consultants have applied. Tenders will be accepted till the month-end. Once the process is completed, an expert committee will be constituted to evaluate them.

However, even if the consultant was finalised, the stretch for DPR could be increased, it was felt at the high-level meetings.

The consultancy fee for the additional stretch can be increased on a pro rata basis. This is expected to save time on calling for tenders again.

The Centre is said to be keen on completing the Metro rail projects in three years and has constituted various committees to monitor the progress.

With the cost for a km of Metro rail presently pegged at Rs.220 crore, the estimated cost for 25-km works out to be Rs.5,600 crore.

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