The highly-anticipated metro rail project in Visakhapatnam has been hitting back-to-back roadblocks. The Union Budget hadn’t mentioned the project as a part of its plans, drawing flak from the public representatives in Andhra Pradesh. Also, with the Export-Import Bank of Korea, KEXIM, conveying its inability to provide financial assistance to the metro rail project in Visakhapatnam, reports claim that the authorities are currently on the lookout for a new bilateral/multilateral funding agency.
With the State’s Finance Minister announcing a monorail for Visakhapatnam, questions have been raised on the implementation of the metro rail project. A clear picture is yet to be attained as to how the State plans to execute the projects in Visakhapatnam and Amaravati. “A provisional allocation has been made, but we haven’t received any information on how the State government wants to proceed with the execution. As of now, things have been put on hold as a policy decision is awaited,” a senior official was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
On the other hand, the decision to set up monorail in Visakhapatnam has evoked a mixed response from the citizens. While a few have backed the announcement owing to its lesser cost of construction per km, others have continued to back the metro rail project and demanded the fulfillment of the promises made in the AP Bifurcation Act.
The Forum for Development of North Andhra (FDNA) too raised concerns over the fate of the metro project in Visakhapatnam. “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,” A Aja Sharma, of the FDNA, noted.