Vijaywada Metro: An ambitious Metro Project awaiting execution

Vijayawada being situated in the middle of East Coast, connecting to North India through Central India, it has become the busy Railway junction having railway lines in five directions namely to Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Benguluru via Guntur and Machilipatnam.

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Abstract

According to a report by Oxford Economics, a global survey organisation, Vijayawada is one of India’s top ten fastest expanding cities. It is a well-known industrial city producing vehicles, agricultural products, and consumer goods. In addition, rice and sugarcane cultivation is extensive throughout the year, making the district one of the country’s wealthiest rice bowls.

Vijayawada, earlier known as Bezawada during British days, is the second-largest city of Andhra Pradesh State. It is located on the banks of the Krishna River, and the famous Goddess Kanaka Durga Temple situated on the hill overlooks the entire city. The city is blessed with ‘Prakasam Barrage’ built by Sir Arthur Cotton about 120 years back, converting the city and surroundings very fertile and lush.

The City and the Urban Agglomeration population is 14.91 lakhs as per census of 2011 and is growing at a fast pace in the advent of the formation of the New State of Andhra Pradesh. The population as per 2021 estimations is around 20.95 lakhs by taking the population of surrounding areas into account.

Vijayawada being situated in the middle of East Coast, connecting to North India through Central India, it has become the busy Railway junction having railway lines in five directions namely to Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Benguluru via Guntur and Machilipatnam. It is the highest earning railway station in Andhra Pradesh. The largest State transport bus station is also Vijayawada. Thus the city is well connected from all corners of the country and therefore has enormous pressure on the urban transportation within the city.

A World class mass rapid transit system, a metro rail system is a much-needed mode of public transport to meet the challenges of fast-growing traffic scenario in Vijayawada and the surroundings. Therefore, the Government has decided to introduce an elegant and modern Light Metro Rail system in the city. The Metro Rail System would provide the commuters a fast, convenient, safer, comfortable, efficient and reliable, pollution-free and eco friendly transport. This would enable the city achieve a sustainable growth from the social, economic and environmental perspectives.

On coming into commercial operations, the Proposed Light Metro System is expected to cater to a passenger capacity of about 5.0 lakhs daily in 2025 and gradually to increase to 12-15 lakhs by the year 2055.

Earlier in 2015, DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited) recommended for introducing Medium Metro system in two smaller corridors in the core city, of a total length of 26 km only. However, the State Government decided to go for Light Metro system keeping in view of traffic demand during the next 30 years period and considering the travel needs to expand it to the Airport/Gannavaram on one side and to the new Capital City Amaravati on the other side.

Development

Ex-CM Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu planned a new capital for Andhra Pradesh, he planned to develop Vijayawada as a smart city & rolled out plans for metro in the city.

The metro project is implemented by a special purpose vehicle named as Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation. Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation has been renamed as Andhra Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Ltd after the Managing Director of AMRC suggested that it might be appropriate to change the name AMRC as APMRC so as to implement the Metro Projects in other parts of the State.

The Metro rail project was proposed by N Chandrababu Naidu to reduce traffic congestion in the city. The project was awarded to E.Sreedharan led Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), keeping in view its successful execution of the Delhi Metro Rail project. Survey work for the project began in 2014. RVR Associates was appointed to conduct household and traffic surveys. After completing these two surveys, topographical, environmental and soil surveys were also conducted. 

A detailed project report on the Vijayawada Metro was submitted by the Principal Advisor of DMRC, E.Sreedharan to the Chief Minister. As a result, the AMRC floated tenders for the construction of two lines for the project on 28 November 2016. Larsen and Toubro (L&T), Afcons Infrastructure Limited (AIL), and Simplex Infrastructures Limited (SIL) submitted bids for the project. 

Detail

Vijayawada Metro is a proposed light rail transit system in the Indian city of Vijayawada. The system is proposed to reduce traffic congestion in the city and consists of three corridors constructed in 3 Phases. Phase-I covers 24.5 km, phase-ll covers 12.50 Km, and phase-lll covers 28 km. The project was estimated approximately Rs. 15,000 crore. It was proposed in the form of light Metro which consists of 3 coaches.

Network & Route

The proposed interchange of two lines is Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS), a bus station located at the southern side of Vijayawada city and beside the Krishna River. The proposed first line will follow Bandar Road from Pandit Nehru Bus Station to Penamaluru via Mahatma Gandhi road and the second run from PNBS along Eluru Road to Vijayawada Airport via Vijayawada Railway Station. An extension to Amaravati (state capital) is proposed in a subsequent phase. The project does not serve One Town area, where commercial locations such as KR Market, Vastralatha and the temple of Kanaka Durga are located.

The total length of alignment in 3 directions would be 66 km, as per the details mentioned below.

PhaseLineLengthStations
1APNBS-Gannavaram24.5 Km22
1BPNBS- Penamaluru12.50 Km11
2PNBS- Amaravati28 Km18
Total66.2 Km (Approx)51 Stations

Funding

The corridor from Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) to Nidamanur is estimated to cost Rs. 969 crore (US$130 million), and the corridor between PNBS and Penamalur will cost Rs. 831 crore (US$110 million). 

German bank KfW agreed to provide a loan of Rs. 2,500 crore (US$330 million) to the AMRC in February 2017. The Andhra Pradhesh Government had previously considered taking a loan from JICA, but chose not to, as JICA’s loan proposal mandated that 30% of the loaned amount should used to procure rolling stock from Japan.

Summary & Conclusion

Vijayawada Light Metro is a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system with 2 lines and 51 stations proposed to be built in the city of Vijayawada and Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, by the Andhra Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (APMRC) earlier known as Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation (AMRC).

The project was originally conceived as a heavy-rail based mass rapid transit system (MRTS), and the Andhra Pradesh government signed an agreement with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to execute its 26.03 km Phase 1 project in September 2015.

The DMRC invited civil construction bids for both lines, but cancelled procurement due to its high cost and low ridership projections which were not in line with the Government of India’s new Metro Rail Policy

In 2017-18, the state government opted for a Light Rail Transit (LRT / MetroLite). It now plans to connect Gannavaram – Vijayawada – Amravati in 3 phases with a 66.2 km network at an estimated cost of Rs. 15,000 crore, based on a recommendation by the SYSTRA – RITES – GOPA JV which submitted its revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) in April 2019.

Key Features

Operational : 0 Km

Under Construction : 0 Km

Proposed : 66.2 Km

Vijaywada Metro Phase 1A Route

Line-2 : Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) – Vijaywada Airport at Gannavaram 

  • Length : 25.90 Km
  • Type : Elevated (23 Km) & Underground (2.90 Km)
  • Number of Stations : 22

Vijayawada Metro Phase 1B Route

Line-1: Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) – Penamaluru

  • Length: 12.76 km
  • Type: Elevated
  • Number of Stations: 12

Vijayawada Metro Phase 2 Route

 Line-2: Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) – Amravati Reservoir.

  • Length: 27.80 km
  • Type: Elevated (4.7 km) & Underground (23.1 km)
  • Number of Stations: 18

Station Detail

Phase 1A (Gannavaram to PNBS)

Name of Stations :  Gannavaram Bus Stand, Gannavaram, Yogashram, Airport, Kesarapalle, Velpuru, Gudavali, Sri Chaitanya College, Nidamanuru Railway Station, Nidamanuru, Enikepadu, MBT Center, Prasadampadu, Ramavarappadu Ring, Gunadala, Padavalarevu, Machavaram Down, Seetharampuram Signal, Besant Road, Railway Station East, Railway Station South, PNBS.

Phase 1B (PNBS to Penamaluru)

Name of Stations : PNBS, Victoria Jubilee Museum, Municipal Stadium, Tikkle Road, Benz Circle, Auto Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Kanuru Centre, Tadigadapa, Poranki, Penamaluru.

Phase 2 (PNBS to Amaravathi Reservoir)

Name of Stations : PNBS, Mahanadu, Krishna Canal Junction, Polkampadu, Undavalli Centre, Undavalli, Venkata Palem (East), Venkata Palem (West), Tallaya Palem, Mandadam, Uddandrayuni Palem, Lingaya Palem, The Square Station, Central Park Station, Ceremonial Space Station, Assembly Station, FG Station, GH Station, Amaravathi Reservoir Station.

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