Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: The much awaited study aimed at developing a long term transport strategy for the Hyderabad Metropolitan Region (HMR) spread over 7,146 sq. kms is to be taken up shortly.

The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has called for expression of interest from national and international firms to take up the Comprehensive Transportation Study for HMR at an estimated cost of around Rs.15.24 crores, 50 per cent of which is to be Central Financial Assistance.

Given the rapid urbanisation in the HMR throwing up traffic and transportation problems that demand a sustainable solution to overcome them, the study was mooted some time back under the scheme of Urban Transport Planning of the Ministry of Urban Development.

The Comprehensive Transportation Study is expected to help develop a long term transport strategy with suitable incorporation of medium and short term plans. Apart from understanding the present changed travel demands and characteristics, it also has to come out with a forecast of future demands.

According to the HMDA, studies point out that the city's transportation needs are largely met by private vehicles, both two and four-wheels, accounting to 48.5 per cent followed by bus transport (42 per cent) and three-seater and seven-seater autos (8 p.c..). Also, the coming of international airport at Shamshabad and other projects such as outer ring road, P.V. Narasimha Rao Elevated Expressway could end up with emergence of newer travel patterns and the same needs to be understood. It is in this backdrop that a meeting of the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) in June 2009 has decided to take up the study.

The HMDA call for consultants or consulting firms among others has sought demonstrated experience of 10 years for cities of comparable size of not less than two million of population and also in planning, designing and implementation of at least one high capacity public transport system. The HMDA has set June end as the last date for submission of the expression of intent and after evaluation of the same will issue the request for proposals (RFP).