Hyderabad, May 4 (IANS) The completion of Hyderabad Metro Rail will be delayed by nearly one-and-a-half years, with the developer now saying that the project is likely to be fully operational by December 2018.
Construction major Larsen Toubro (L&T), which is building the 71.16-km elevated metro on three corridors, on Wednesday said it was in talks with the Telangana government on the issue.
As per the concession agreement signed with the then government of united Andhra Pradesh in 2010, the project should have been completed by July 2017.
L&T officials attributed the delay to various reasons but said they were trying their best for early completion of the project.
S.N. Subrahmanyam, Deputy Managing Director and President, L&T, and Chairman, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd, said they were holding negotiations with the state government.
He was addressing a press conference to announce the appointment of Shivanand Nimbargi as the new chief executive and managing director of L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Ltd (LTMRHL).
V.B. Gadgil, who has been associated with the project since inception, will superannuate from the services of the company by month-end.
Gagdil ruled out completion of the first stage (Nagole-Mettuguda) of the project by June 2 as reported in a section of media but said it was technically ready for operations.
The work on the second stage (Miyapur-SR Nagar) was also in an advanced stage. He was confident that in June a total of 19-20 km out of 71 km will be technically ready for operations.
The first stage was earlier scheduled to be commissioned in January 2015 but it missed the deadline.
While admitting that there has been cost escalation, he did not share the figures, saying they are “dynamic”.
He had earlier stated the project cost may have been escalated by Rs.2,500-3,000 crore.
Gadgil said despite hurdles, a lot was achieved. “This is the fastest ever project undertaken in country. What we achieved in three-and-a-half years has no parallel.”
Though the concession agreement for Rs.14,132-crore project, said to be the largest metro project in the world in public-private partnership, was signed in September 2010, the work could commence in July 2012.
LTMRHL in 2011 had achieved financial closure for Rs.16,375 crore — Rs.14,132 crore for the metro rail system and Rs.2,243 crore for the first phase of real estate development.
Both the components of the project are being financed through an equity of 30 percent and 70 percent by debt.
The company raised the debt of nearly Rs.11,500 crore from a consortium of 10 banks.
LTMRHL Chief Financial Officer J. Ravikumar said 62 percent of the work had been completed. The company so far spent Rs.8,900 crore, including Rs.2,700 crore equity.
The company has so far drawn Rs.600 crore out of Rs.1,458 crore available under Viability Gap Funding (VGF) from the central government.