Narendra Modi inaugurates Hyderabad Metro: 30-km-long project cost Rs 16,000 crore, was stuck in limbo for decades

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the Hyderabad Metro Rail, the largest such project in the world in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. After inaugurating the metro, Modi and Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao took a ride on it, travelling from Miyapur to Kukatpally.

Officials said the first stage of the metro, covering a 30-kilometre distance, will be open to the public from Wednesday. Stretching from Miyapur in the city's Northwest to Nagole in the East, the metro rail's 30-kilometre run will span 24 stations.

Commercial operations will begin from Wednesday, and services will run from 6 am to 10 pm initially, after which, depending on traffic and demand, it may be extended to 5.30 am to 11 pm everyday, Telangana's information technology minister KT Rama Rao said last week.

 Narendra Modi inaugurates Hyderabad Metro: 30-km-long project cost Rs 16,000 crore, was stuck in limbo for decades

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Telangana governor ESL Narsimhan and Chief Minister K Chandrasekar Rao. PTI

The minimum fare has been set at Rs 10 for a distance of up to two kilometres, while the maximum fare is Rs 60 for a distance of more than 26 kilometres.

Each train would initially have three coaches with capacities of 330 people each. The number of coaches can be increased to six depending on the traffic, Rao said.

The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) would start feeder services for the metro, he said.

Some private organisations are also planning to launch services to connect the metro stations to different parts of the city.

A smart card was launched on Saturday for passengers to use. The card can be used for multiple modes of transport when they come up in the future, Rao said.

The L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) has already installed sophisticated CCTV cameras at all the stations and on trains.

HMRL's Managing Director NVS Reddy had earlier said that several measures have been taken up to ensure comfortable travel for the disabled people. However, a report in The New Indian Express said that while the Hyderabad metro stations have been touted as disabled friendly, wheelchair-users will still require assistance to get onto the train due to a gap between the platform and train, and a difference in height.

Roadblocks

The metro's launch comes as a great relief for the core management team of L&T MRH, its chairman SN Subramanyam and MD Shivanand Nimbargi, who had gone through several ups and downs caused by successive political interventions, social activism, delays, PILs and cost hikes over the last decade.

The L&T MRH, which is the concessionaire for the project, has spent Rs 13,000 crore — almost 90 percent of the total project cost of Rs 16,375 crore. The L&T MRH, which is implementing the project with Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) and the Centre, will enjoy concessions for 35 years.

The company said it has already lost two years since the appointment date of June 2012 set during Congress chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy's government, as the real work picked up only after the formation of the state of Telangana in 2014.

Even after resolving the issue of diversion and re-routing with the current Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) government, they have been able to complete only 30 kilometres of the 72-kilometre route for which they originally inked the PPP deal and need an extension of two more years.

Future plans

A mobile application — 'T Savari' — would also be launched. The app provides quick interface for metro services.

Under the project, sky-walks will be also be built connecting the stations directly to commercial complexes, stadiums and offices, he said. The state government has also started its efforts for the second phase of the metro as well, Rao said. Asked about the deadline for the completion of the entire project, he said it should be ready in a year's time.

As many as 546 security personnel from private agencies will man the stations on the Miyapur-Nagole stretch. They will be working with three police officials per station in each shift, the Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd (HMRL) said.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Nov 28, 2017 17:15:28 IST