While the Hyderabad Metro Rail connectivity plans to Shamshabad airport have gained momentum with the Centre clearing the link under the second phase of the elevated project a few days ago, the MMTS connectivity plans to the international airport seems to be losing steam.
It has been over a year since the South Central Railway (SCR) authorities chalked out rail on ground connectivity plans to the airport but there has been no significant progress in the project.
The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) had invited tenders for the MMTS phase II works in April this year but the proposed rail link from Umdanagar station to the airport was missing from the tenders. In June, RVNL had opened the tenders for taking up the MMTS phase II works under three separate packages involving an expenditure of Rs.365 crore.
Presently, the tender committee is scrutinising the technical and pricing eligibility of the bidders and the supporting documents submitted by them. “We are hoping that in three weeks, the bidder will be finalised and the works will also commence soon,” say senior SCR officials. When asked specifically about the Umdanagar-Shamshabad rail connectivity, the officials claim that the GMR authorities had in-principle approved the rail link to the airport, but wanted to check with their project consultants about the proposed Metro Rail alignment and other related issues. The rail connectivity for the 6.5 km distance between the airport and Umdanagar station was estimated to cost about Rs.30 crore a couple of years ago. Of the 6.5 km, about 2.5 km length of the track passes through the airport land, which is controlled by GMR.
The crux of the issue is about identification of place for construction of a station. Unless the place is identified, the track alignment cannot be finalised. RVNL is regularly following the issue with GMR authorities but they have not finalised things at their end leading to the delay, SCR officials point out.