The recently announced State Budget of Andhra Pradesh has allocated funds for setting up monorail in Visakhapatnam. State Finance Minister Buganna Rajendranath Reddy, who delivered his first Budget speech in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, made the announcement of Friday.
The implementation of the monorail project is aimed at facilitating the increasing demand for public transport in an eco-friendly way. A comparatively lesser utilisation of land resources and lower construction cost per km are a few of the major advantages of the proposed transport system. While the construction cost per km of metro rail is estimated at Rs 195 crore, the same for a monorail is likely to range about Rs 140 crore. Reportedly, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has ordered the concerned officials to prepare the proposals for setting up monorail in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.
While the announcement of the monorail is being welcomed by a few who opine that the system would be suited for a city like Visakhapatnam, it has parallelly raised doubts on the fate of the much-awaited metro rail project. It may be noted that plans were made to establish metro rail in Visakhapatnam over a distance of 42 km along three corridors. The authorities had planned to execute the project in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode at an estimated cost of Rs 8300 crore.
A Aja Sarma, of Forum for Development of North Andhra (FDNA) noted, “The Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Act assured metro rail to Visakhapatnam. But the newly announced budget though mentioned monorail, raising doubts on the metro rail project.”