However, the condition is that the civic body must have a population of a minimum 20 lakh.
The population of Visakhapatnam city has already crossed 20 lakh. A team of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) officials, including Commissioner MV Satyanarayana and executive engineer KVN Ravi, were invited to New Delhi by officials from the Union ministry of urban development and transport to discuss projects, including metro rail.
The metro rail project was sanctioned earlier when chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy was in the chief minister.
GVMC commissioner Satyanarayana confirmed that the Centre is keen on the sanctioning metro rail projects for three urban areas in residuary Andhra Pradesh including Visakhapatnam. The approval for appointing a consultant for the Metro rail project is expected in the next few days, he added. The State and Central governments will foot 50 per cent each of the Rs 1.6 crore required for preparing the Detail Project Report (DPR), said TOI.
"As Vizag already meets the 20 lakh population criteria the ministry has asked us to get ready for the preparation of the detail project report (DPR). If the project is sanctioned to GVMC, the centre will financially allocate nearly 90% of the funds as part of a special package for residuary Andhra Pradesh. The rest of the funds will be borne by the state government," Satyanarayana added.
If the project transforms into reality, the Centre will allocate Rs 200-250 crore to develop one km stretch of the metro rail project at an estimated cost of Rs 5,000 Crore, said the report.
"GVMC has already kept four important routes in mind to disclose to the Centre if the opportunity arises. These four routes are in no way connected to the existing BRTS roads in the city," Satyanarayana added. The four proposed corridors are Gajuwaka to NAD Junction on National Highway-16 (Chennai to Howrah via Visakhapatnam city), Gajuwaka to Visakhapatnam Railway Station, Hanumanthuwaka to Tagarapuvalasa on the NH-16 and Maddilapalem to NAD Junction on the NH-16.