PPP in metro projects will benefit State, says official

The Central government’s policy decision to encourage more Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in metro railways, which Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman enunciated in her 2019-2020 budget speech, will help the Andhra Pradesh Government in getting private partners to invest up to 10% of the cost of the Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada metro rail projects once the developers are finalised. In fact, the proposal was envisaged in the New Metro Rail Policy (NMRP) of 2017 that States should rope in private partners for primarily mobilising funds and speeding up projects. Speaking to The Hindu, Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation MD N.P. Ramakrishna Reddy said the A.P. government could approach the Centre to avail that benefit only after tying up with partners. He observed that PPPs have become the norm since the NMRP was introduced two years ago by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. For instance, in the case of the ?8,300 crore Visakhapatnam metro project, the State is supposed to invest ?4,200 crore and the remaining ?4,100 crore would be invested by the developer. If a PPP goes through, the State would get 10% of ?4,200 crore (?420 crore) in the form of a grant from the Centre. The private partners might undertake operations and maintenance and/or other components. As on date, the State government is in the process of selecting the developer for the Vizag metro rail project. DPR being revised -“The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Vijayawada Metro, presented by French consultant Systra, is being revised as it is proposed to cover the stretch from Gannavaram Airport to Pandit Nehru Bus Station and then up to Amaravati in phases. The total length of the project would then go up to 66 km from the present 26 km. The PPPs would, therefore, be beneficial to the cash-starved Government of A.P,” Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy told The Hindu. Source: Thehindu