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Metro Rail faces rough weather

Metro Rail faces rough weather
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Highlights

The Metro Rail project which is claimed to be a feather in the Amaravati’s cap seemingly reaches a dead-end with an uncertainty over its future.

Amaravati: The Metro Rail project which is claimed to be a feather in the Amaravati’s cap seemingly reaches a dead-end with an uncertainty over its future. As if lending much credence to such apprehensions, E Sridharan, advisor to AP government for metro rail project, in a dramatic move, reportedly stepped out from his position, according to reliable sources.

Coincidentally, the continuation of Managing Director of Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation N P Ramakrishna Reddy in the project too appears to be uncertain as he was given another crucial role to play as Special Officer in the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA).

It is yet to be seen whether he will be allowed to hold his current position in the metro rail project while handling the CRDA assignment as an additional charge or he will be kept out of the rail project completely.

The 85-year old Sreedharan, widely known as ‘Metro Man’, was said to have shot off his resignation letter to the government one week ago. He was said to have stuck to his guns regardless of efforts by the official top brass in the government for his retention.

The State government’s decision to explore alternatives to the metro rail project and hire an Australian expert Edward Dotson for drafting designs for light metro transit, electric buses and some others could be the trigger for Sridharan’s exit.As the metro rail project has become a flagship project of the TDP government, Sridharan was drafted from the Delhi Metro Rail Project to let it become a reality.

Ramakrishna Reddy is credited with a rich experience in executing prestigious infrastructure projects such as Shamshabad Airport. The exit of the two key men indicates the government’s mood to keep the metro rail project on backburner.

The government set up AMRC two years ago and started exercise under the supervision of Sridharan and Ramakrishna Reddy. Sridharan, after conducting in-depth studies, had submitted detail project report (DPR) to the government. The government issued land acquisition notification to acquire lands in Vijayawada and in the city suburbs two months ago to make way for the project.

Union government allocated funds to the project in 2015-16 annual budget. A few nantionalised banks came forward to fund around 90 per cent of total project cost Rs 7,000. The metro rail project has been facing resistance from big business tycoons in the city in view of a massive loss it causes to swanky star hotels, malls and the other shopping complexes along the two main roads of the city such as Bandhar road and Eluru road.

By K Varaprasada Rao

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