When approved by the State Assembly, the Andhra Pradesh Municipal Tramways (Construction, Operation and Maintenance) Bill will empower the state government to take up metro rail projects in municipal areas either as government projects or as public private partnership projects through concession agreements.
A meeting of the State Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy on Wednesday approved the draft bill which also provides for appointment of a safety commissioner to inspect and certify mass transit projects.
Initially, an ordinance will be promulgated to give a legal cover to the prestigious project. In the next Assembly session, the draft bill will be introduced, said Information Minister A Ramanarayan Reddy.
The bill has been prepared by a team of legal experts incorporating features of similar acts in West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi, he said.
The bill elaborates on the State Government's powers to regulate construction and operation of mass transit systems, functions of the developers and operators, safety certification mechanisms, claims of compensation and penalties for various offences.
Financial bids for the project covering three rail routes stretching over 71.16 km in the city will open on July 4. Of the total cost, 40 per cent will come as financial grant from the Centre and state governments. The remaining will be borne by the developer on build-operate-and-transfer basis.
The Centre has already sanctioned Rs 1,939 crore (Rs 19.39 billion) under viability gap funding, amounting to 20 per cent of the project cost. "We are pursuing with the Centre for another 10 per cent under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission," said Reddy.
Five international consortia of companies have been pre-qualified for the country's largest metro rail project. To be developed on the lines of Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo models, the Metro project will cover three high-density traffic corridors criss-crossing the city -- Miyapur- L B Nagar, Jubilee bus station-Falaknuma and Habshiguda- Shilparamam.
It will involve construction of 66 stations along the routes. All coaches of the Metro Rail will be air-conditioned with automatic door closures and modern safety features. The elevated stations will have modern passenger amenities with escalators and elevators for easy access.