RITES will take up a feasibility study for a suburban train service between the Convent Junction and NTPC and prepare a detailed project report, VUDA Vice-Chairman Kona Sasidhar has said.

The report to be ready in three months will also study whether MMTS passenger trains should be run or freight should be included, he disclosed at a Meet-the-Press organised by Vizag Journalists' Forum on Friday.

The decision to take up the feasibility study followed a meeting Mr.Sasidhar had with RITES General Manager in Hyderabad recently. The suburban train service, extendable to the other parts of the city in subsequent stages, will also be integrated with the track in Petroleum, Chemicals, and Petrochemical Investment Region.

The draft terms of reference would soon be sent to RITES. After the report comes, funding options including viability gap funding from the Union Urban Development Ministry, the government, local bodies or the steel plant and NTPC, will be explored.

The stalemate over the Harita housing project with contractors striking work demanding increase in construction cost to be paid ended with the tough stand taken by VUDA, he said. A final notice had also been served after which the executing agency resumed work on the mega housing project at Madhurawada.

The take off meeting on PCPIR with all the stakeholders would be held on July 23.

Mr. Sasidhar said a convention centre of international standards was proposed at Rushikonda. He had urged the District Collector to take back 10 acres of land given to Tourism Department and give it to VUDA for the purpose. This would act as a growth pole, he felt. On improving the VUDA Park, he said an 80 or 100 ft musical fountain and go-carting were proposed to be taken up.

VJF President M. Yugandhar Reddy and Secretary G. Srinubabu participated.

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