ANDHRA PRADESH

Special purpose vehicle to look Into MMTS operations

HYDERABAD Aug. 10. Buoyed with the enthusiastic response to the Multi-Modal Transport System, the Railways and the State Government have decided to constitute a special purpose vehicle to look into all aspects, including the operations and expansion of the MMTS.

The special purpose vehicle (SPV), a joint venture between the State Government and railways, would be managing the services and look into the matters relating to the expenditure and revenue besides working out the proposals for expansion. The SPV would also explore the possibilities of roping in private investors willing to finance the project's expansion.

Informing this at a press conference here on Sunday, the Union Minister of State for Railways, Bandaru Dattatreya, said that a consultant, Rambol L&T, had already been appointed at a cost of Rs 3.01 crore, to prepare plans for expansion of the project.

The consultant would submit its interim report by the end of September following which the authorities concerned would look into matters like setting up of new corridors, doubling the current lines, financial viability and related issues.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the consultant would also search for a suitable private partner, if necessary, to fund the project. "However, a final shape to the project will come only by the end of the next year after the consultant submits its final report,'' he said.

In the meantime, the Railways in association with the State Government would continue to manage the MMTS services, which would take some time to get stabilised. "Since this is a new project, the services, staff and other issues will take some time to stabilise,'' he said adding senior Railway officials had been asked to conduct periodic surveys on the response to the project based on which the frequency of the services would be increased wherever necessary.

On the infrastructure related issues, the Union Minister said that there was an immediate need to construct two road underbridges and four road overbridges for which the Railways had already identified the locations. It was now left to the State government to take a decision on the alignment of the structures suitable to the traffic needs.

Replying to a question, Mr Dattatreya said that the deadlock over the issue of a common seasonal passes for the road-cum-rail travel through MMTS would be sorted out before the month end. While the Railways had already announced its fares, it was upto the State Government to take a decision on the fares to collected for road travel.