AIMIM floor leader in Telangana State Legislative Assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi on Wednesday urged Hyderabad Metro Rail to take up construction of Metro Rail in the old city at the earliest.
Akbaruddin Owaisi met Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) managing director N. V. S. Reddy and urged him to undertake construction of the Metro corridor from Imlibun Bus Station to Falaknuama. He pointed out that the state government has already allocated Rs 500 crore for Metro connectivity to the old city.
Following repeated requests and representations by the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), the state government allocated Rs 500 crore to Hyderabad Metro Rail for taking up works on the long pending connectivity to the old city from MGBS, Imlibun to Falaknuma under Corridor-II of 5.5 km in the current financial year 2022-23, said Owaisi.
The MLA from Chandrayangutta constituency recalled that he has requested the state government to fix the timeline for taking up and completing the Metro Rail works on the old city stretch. “I have been pleading with the government to expeditiously complete the works on the Metro Rail in the old city but no progress is seen till now. It is strange but true that there is undue delay in extending HMR connectivity in the old city, even after budgetary allocation is made,” he wrote to Reddy.
During the meeting, Reddy and other HMR officials explained to Owaisi the proposed alignment of HMR in the old city.
HMR received allocations of Rs 2,377.35 crore in the state budget for 2022-23. This includes Rs 500 crore for connectivity to the old city.
L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH) has completed the first phase of the Metro Rail project across three corridors to a total length of 69.2 km. While L. B. Nagar to Miyapur and Nagole to Raidurg corridors have been completed, Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) to Falaknuma is yet to be completed. On the third corridor, connectivity has been provided from JBS to Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) also called Imlibun.
The developer has not taken up expansion in the old city due to lack of permission. Religious and heritage structures along the proposed route in the old city and financial losses suffered by the developer and operator due to Covid-19 pandemic are cited as the reasons for the delay in construction of Metro works on the 5.5 km stretch.
The state government has still not made clear if it will fund the work in the old city on its own. The concessionaire is unlikely to fund the works as the project cost has already escalated substantially for property acquisition, shift of utilities like electricity lines, water pipelines and the construction of elevated viaduct as well as stations.
Last year, L&TMRHL sought the state government’s help to overcome the losses it incurred due to the pandemic.
The 73-km elevated metro is the biggest metro project in the world in public private partnership (PPP) model built at a total cost of Rs 20,000 crore.
Hyderabad Metro operates 55 trains. Before Covid broke out, it was carrying about 4.5 lakh passengers every day.
According to officials, the average daily ridership is now 3.78 lakh.