A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated Chief Minister K. Rosaiah on successful completion of Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project, a civil society organisation described it as “old wine in a new bottle.”

Citizens for a Better Public Transport in Hyderabad (CBPTH) demanded that the draft concessional agreement (DCA) of the project be debated in the Legislative Assembly, Council and at public for a before a deal is inked with Larsen and Toubro, which recently won the project bid. In this regard, CBPTH wanted copies of DCA be made available in Telugu and Urdu for the general public to assimilate the facts.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, C. Ramachandraiah, convenor, CBPTH, said GHMC stood to lose out on hundreds of crores of rupees as the rail system, by definition, includes rail-related infrastructure and real estate development (RED). As such, no local tax or charge can be levied on the project.

This means the corporation cannot levy building fees, property tax, entertainment tax etc. for many years.

CBPTH also pointed out that the project cost has now escalated by Rs.2,179 crore going by HMR's submissions in the High Court in 2008. Metro rail authorities submitted that a delay in the project will incur an additional expenditure of Rs.3.2 crore per day.

Keywords: metro rail

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