Special Correspondent.

Identification of site in coordination with State government must

Submission of inception report to the Railway Board for acceptance

TIRUPATI: The South Central Railway General Manager, M.S. Jayanth has attributed the delay in finalising the site for the location of the ‘World Class Railway Facility' at Tirupati to lack of consensus among the stake-holders in the project—TTD and the Chittoor district administration over the site, though four sites around Tirupati have been tentatively identified for setting up the project.

In a letter addressed to the Tirupati MP, Dr. Chintha Mohan, Jayanth sought to explain the guidelines laid down by the Railway Board for grounding the work.

As per the guidelines the first two steps are, identification of the site in coordination with the state government and submission of inception report to the Railway Board for acceptance.

Approval

The other prescriptions in the sequence are: preparation of cost estimate, finalization of consultancy contract for the design of the proposed ‘facility', securing approval of the Board for RFQ, RTP documents etc and lastly the finalization of agency for funding through PPP mode through global tender/bidding.

While the railways have identified four sites, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has suggested a site near Alipiri and the merits and demerits of all sites have been already discussed.

In an apparent response to the MP's move to get the foundation stone laid for the Facility, obviously to break the inertia gripping it, the GM said it would be ‘desirable' to get the foundation stone laid only after the PPP operator was selected at the penultimate stage so that construction could start immediately thereafter.

Follow-up

Meanwhile the MP, as a follow-up has addressed letters to the GM, SC Rly to take urgent steps to convene a meeting with all the stake-holders to thrash out the site issue so that the Rlys to get down to other formalities without any more delay.

Mohan also has addressed letters on Friday to the Executive Officer, TTD and the District Collector, Chittoor conveying the SC Rly GM's observations vis a vis the site aspect, so that the heads of all the three major stake-holders in the project could put their heads together and zero in on a mutually-acceptable location for the project without any more delay.