World Bank country head Barjor E. Mehta hails the innovative features, multi-modal integration and the urban redesign approach of the HMR project; terms it a very promising one

The World Bank has promised all support to the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project and the plans to transform the capital into an eco-friendly global city.

Appreciating the innovative features, multi-modal integration and the urban redesign approach of the project, Barjor E. Mehta, World Bank country head, had mentioned that the Hyderabad model was a very promising one. He was speaking at a joint workshop conducted by the World Bank and HMR on “land value capture for Transit Oriented Development (TOD)” in the Metro Rail Bhavan on Thursday.

Tracing out the development of cities like Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, Hiroaki Suzuki, Lead Urban Specialist, World Bank, explained how they had achieved prosperity and development, apart from addressing traffic problems through the TOD approach.

Metro rail projects in these cities made them global centres of economic activity with planned densification along metro corridors and large-scale development of areas around stations through land pooling and incentives like higher FSI to accommodate the increasing urban population, he said.

Loss-making metro projects are cross subsidised through revenues from property development in and around stations. TOD strategies has to involve the government, city administration, private sector and other stake holders for sustainability of urban areas.

HMR Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy highlighted the main features of “Transit + ” model of the Hyderabad project like the inter-modal integration with the railway stations of Secunderabad, Nampally and Begumpet; bus depots/stations at Miyapur, JBS, MGBS, Dilsukhnagar, Koti, Lakdi-ka-pul and Falaknuma and six MMTS stations.

The operation of merry-go-round feeder buses in colonies and business areas around Metro stations, skywalks, footpaths, bicycle stations and pedestrian facilities etc are being planned to avoid personalised vehicles, he said.

Stations are to have shopping complexes, multiplexes, food courts, clinics and retail stores to cater to the day-to-day needs of people, thereby reducing congestion on roads.

Urban Development Principal Secretary B. Sam Bob highlighted the need to finance more urban infrastructure projects by capturing enhanced land values through the TOD mechanism.

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