Special Correspondent

Project being thrust on city by a nexus of companies, consultants and officials: CFBPT

Managing Director of Hyderabad Metro Rail

N.V.S. Reddy comes in for criticism

‘Officials spreading half-truths to justify that only expensive metro rails are the solution’

HYDERABAD: The Citizens for a Better Public Transport (CFBPT) in Hyderabad have criticised Managing Director of Hyderabad Metro Rail N.V.S. Reddy for stating that Bus Rapid Transit System is not feasible for Hyderabad.

Disputing the claim of Mr. Reddy that a single bus lane for BRTS would require 63 feet of space and a double lane 92 feet space which is not feasible in Hyderabad as false, CFBPT members Ramachandraiah, V.B.J. Chelikani and others said that dedicated bus lanes are operating on roads as small as 40 feet wide across the world. A single lane would not take more than 20 feet, they said.

Global experiences

As per international experiences, two-way bus lanes were possible on 80-feet roads.

The HMR officials are spreading half-truths about BRTS to justify that only expensive metro rails were the solution, they added.

Citing a recent article by Prof. Dinesh Mohan of IIT-Delhi in The Economic and Political Weekly, dated January 26, 2008, on the existing metro rail and BRT systems in the world, they said the article in detail explains why BRTS is an affordable mass transport system in Indian cities.

The CFBPT members also said there is no scientific basis for the explanation that the proposed metro rail in Hyderabad would carry 15.77 lakh passengers every day in the first phase and 25.70 lakh per day in the second phase by end of 2020.

The promoters overestimated the ridership for getting the projects sanctioned. Currently, Delhi metro is carrying only 6 lakh passengers per day compared to its initial projection of 31 lakh passengers on its 65.8 km phase, they alleged.

High fare

The proposed metro in Hyderabad will effectively push the low-income and the poor out of the public transport system because of its high fare. “The metro rail project is thrust on the city by a nexus of national, international construction companies, consultants and officials,” they alleged. The cost of one km of elevated metro rail would be 15 times more expensive than one km of road for BRTS, they said and urged the political parties to debate the project and work out a sustainable transport policy for the city and its region.