The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has submitted the Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the state government. Highly placed sources said DMRC has given two options. In option-I, it has planned three corridors running up to 39.95 km. Likewise, option-II has three corridors too but spanning a longer length of 90.5 km. Option-I would cost Rs 8, 642 crore, and option-II stretching longer would cost Rs 10,111 crore. The three corridors in option-I would have 35 stations and in option-II 41 stations.
Though Visakhapatnam qualifies for central funding to metro rail project under the population category as this greater city has over 20 lakh inhabitants. it is far behind when it comes to projected passenger traffic that is required to qualify for central funding. The projected traffic is only 5.15 lakh in 2019, SA7 lakh in 2021, 6.93 lakh in 2031 and 9.02 lakh by 2041. It is slated to cross the 10 lakh mark and touch 10.72 lakh in the year 2051. This means even Visakhapatnam Metro Rail project may not qualify for central funding as Union Urban Transport rules stipulate minimum 10 lakh passenger traffic in the first two years of its operation for the project to be viable for funding.
AP government will most likely keep the Visakhapatnam metro rail DPR in abeyance until the state government takes up the case with the Centre over the need to bind metro rail projects in Andhra Pradesh. “It’s the case of once bitten twice shy. The AP government will not hurry in sending Visakhapatnam DPR to the Centre as was the case with Vijayawada Metro Rail DPR. The Centre said it cannot fund Vijayawada metro rail project as the city lacks population and projected passenger traffic among other criteria,” sources said.