L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH) will utilise 70 per cent space in the three depots and air space in the 57 acres of the 66 stations for commercial exploitation for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) as per the Concessionaire Agreement, said Chief Executive and Managing Director V.B. Gadgil.
“We have done a market study on TOD whether to go in for retail, commercial or office space,” he said and that the space will be exploited in phases during the entire contract period depending on the city's absorption capacity. Mr. Gadgil was addressing a press conference at the L&TMRH head office at Cyber Towers on Tuesday.
Test of skill
“Our technical, logistical and execution skill will be tested but with our experience we are confident of completing the project on schedule and in a safe manner,” he said. Seeking citizens' cooperation during construction, he said there was bound to be some disturbance because of narrow lanes and complicated traffic flow. Efforts, though, were on to minimise inconvenience to commuters, he added.
Most of the land acquisition for right of way was completed, he pointed out. Overground utilities were being removed in a coordinated manner with the government agencies and scouring is on underground for the same purpose.
The elevated metro rail will be of international standard comparable to Hong Kong and Paris metros with advanced features. Negotiations were on with four reputed global firms such as Bombardier, Hyundai, Cape and CSR of China for rolling stock and these are to be firmed up in two-three months.
“We are bargaining hard and have the economy of scale advantage. High interest rates and inflationary trends are a matter of concern. We are hopeful of a downturn trend,” he said. The MD did not want to hazard a guess whether this would lead to cost escalation “at this time.”
“Cost is going to be a dynamic factor but L&TMRH's endeavour is to complete the project in five years from now, i.e.2017, as fast as possible and closer to the projected cost,” Mr. Gadgil said. Work will be happening simultaneously on the three routes of 71.16 km and it was decided to commission the project in phases with the first phase – Nagole to Mettuguda likely to be completed in three and a half years.
“We are here to executive the project. While there are lobbies opposing it, the common man on the street is positive. That's my observation from interactions I had. This largest public, private partnership (PPP) project is being monitored around the world as its success will open the floodgates for similar such metros,” Mr. Gadgil added.
Keywords: Hyderabad metro rail