Committed to old city Metro Rail even if L&T backs out: KTR
The Telangana Government will take up and complete the old city Metro Rail project even if the contractor Larsen and Toubro (L&T) backed out, asserted KT Rama Rao
HYDERABAD: The Telangana Government will take up and complete the old city Metro Rail project even if the contractor Larsen and Toubro (L&T) backed out, asserted Minister for Municipal Development and Urban Development KT Rama Rao (KTR).
Speaking to the media after releasing a report on ‘Ten years of infrastructure development in urban Telangana’ on Wednesday, he said that the L&T had retracted from its commitment to complete the Hyderabad Metro Rail project owing to financial losses it incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“But we are committed to completing the project, linking the old city,” he said, adding that the Hyderabad Metro Rail project was different from other projects in the country as it was taken up under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
In other States, the State governments built the Metro rail projects with their own funds whereas in Telangana, the Government acquired land worth Rs 3,000 crore for the project, KTR said explaining the peculiarities of the project.
The Minister pointed out that the Government had conveyed to the Hyderabad Metro Rail the popular demand for increasing the number of coaches to meet the peak-time requirement, particularly coming from the IT sector. He said that the Metro management was advised to lease more coaches to meet the heavy rush till new coaches could be purchased.
While appreciating the Hyderabad Metro for achieving a single-day record of 5.1 lakh last Monday, KTR said that the project would be viable if it reached the 15-lakh mark. “You and I who have come by own cars to the Metro Bhavan today must ride the Metro Rail for that to happen,” he said in a lighter vein.
Criticising the Centre for ignoring the repeated requests of the Telangana Government for allocation of defence lands for civic projects, the Minister said that he met five different defence ministers for a one-and-a-half acre land in Rasoolpura, but in vain.
“Recently I tried to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah but he didn’t respond. Now we are asking for 150 acres of defence land for two flyovers each of 18.5 km in length connecting the JBS to Shamirpet and Patny to Kompally,” he said.
The bridges would accommodate both the Metro Rail and the regular traffic at two levels, he informed. He said that the Telangana Government had offered 500 acres for the Defence ministry to set up a firing range in Kompally in exchange for the 150 acres.
He urged the Defence Ministry to free lands under the Cantonment area for the development of roads and other civic amenities. “We wish that this Prime Minister goes, a new Government comes at the Centre that understands our language and responds to our just demands,” the MA&UD Minister said.