Vizag bus rapid transport system project hits roadblock

Ch. R.S. Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on July 04, 2011 Published on July 04, 2011

Incomplete: Half-finished flyover near RTC complex in Visahapatnam. The project is getting delayed due to paucity of funds. — K.R. Deepak   -  Business Line

Project stuck in funding, land acquisition constraints

The bus rapid transport system (BRTS) project in the city seems to moving slower than the one in Vijayawada.

Various reasons have been given for the sluggish pace of the projects — take up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). But funding constrains and land acquisition are the major problems.

Under the JNNURM, Visakhapatnam is to have two BRTS corridors and Vijayawada will have one in the first phase. The Visakhapatnam project consists of two dedicated corridors — Simhachalam corridor (18 km) and Pendurthy corridor (19 km) — to be built for Rs 450 crore. On the Simhachalam corridor, according to sources, 80 per cent of the work has been completed, but work on the Pendurthy corridor has run into several difficulties.

Replacement land

About 60 per cent of the work has been completed along the Pendurthy corridor but then land acquisition problems cropped up.

The land required for construction has to be acquired from the Indian Railways and the Navy.

According to sources, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation has written to the Railway Board and to the Ministry of Defence with offers of replacement land. But approvals are yet to come through, though the project has been accepted in principle.

The corporation has offered 50 acres to the Railways in lieu of the railway land needed for the project. But the railway authorities have not approved the proposals. As a result, work on a 3.5-km stretch in the corridor has been held up.

The Ministry of Defence has not yet given approval for giving away the Navy land. As a result, work on a 2-km stretch on the Pendurthy corridor has been affected.

Apart from these issues, funding problems are also affecting the project. The project is yet to receive about Rs 50 crore from the Centre.

Incomplete flyover

A flyover from Asilmetta Junction in Visakhapatnam to the Dondaparthy Junction (the busiest and the most congested stretch in the city), taken up as a part of the BRTS project, is getting delayed inordinately, causing bottlenecks and inconvenience to the public. The cost of the flyover, originally Rs 60 crore, has escalated to Rs 80 crore, and its completion seems to be nowhere in sight.

The situation in Vijayawada seems to be better, as the BRTS project is not mired in such difficulties. But the progress has been slow.

The Rs 152-crore project was taken up to build a 15.5-km dedicated corridor for BRTS in the first phase.

August date

Though Vijayawada saw some problems in land acquisition from private individuals, they were not as serious as in Vizag.

The bulk of the work on the corridor — from the police control room near the Vijayawada bus-stand (covering the railway station, Satyanarayanapuram, Machavaram, Ramavarappadu Junction, the Benz Circle and the State Guesthouse) — is complete.

Officials of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation officials are hopeful of running buses on the BRTS corridor in August or September. It may take much longer for the Vizag BRTS corridors to be completed.

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Published on July 04, 2011
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