Why is Old City being left out by Hyderabad Metro Rail, asks Asaduddin Owaisi

Hyderabad: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi questioned the state government’s move to exclude a portion of the Old City area from the city’s Metro Rail project, on Wednesday.

This came after the Telangana government extended the time for construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to complete the Hyderabad Metro Rail project till November 2018.

According to HMRL Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy, the concessionaire had been permitted to complete the entire project other than the 5 km stretch in the Old City and about 1 km stretch between Hitec city and Raidurg by November 2018.

Taking to Twitter, Owaisi said, “Why is Old City being left out. L&T and HMR must explain the reason. Our party wants metro rail in Old City.”

Reporting that the 5.5 km stretch in Old City is part of the 15 km rail Corridor-II from JBS to Falaknuma, the Times of India reported that the route will now end at Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station at Imliban in Afzal gunj, instead of passing through Salar Jung Museum, Charminar and Falaknuma.

Speaking to TOI, a senior municipal administration department official also said, “Properties acquisition has not yet begun in Old City. The state government has given extension for only 17 months to L&T to complete the balance stretch. The Old City part cannot be done before November 2018 at any cost. Therefore, it has been excluded.”

Meanwhile, the L&T has reportedly identified more than 50 structures that have to be demolished to make way for the project.

Granting the extension, the state government advised L&TMRHL and HMRL to gear up for launching the completed stretches of the project in the next few months.

It also asked officials to complete corridor-I (Miyapur-LB Nagar: 29 km) and corridor-III (Nagole-Hitec City: 27 km) by the end of 2017.

As per the concession agreement signed with the then government of united Andhra Pradesh in 2010, the project should have been completed by July 4, 2017.

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 only in July 2012.

L&TMRHL officials had said last year that the project cost may have escalated by Rs 2,500-3,000 crore.

IANS inputs