Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao gave a boost to the ongoing Hyderabad Metro Rail project by clearing three big hurdles in one go on Tuesday. He not only provided the fire clearance certificate but also agreed to provide power at reasonable rate and also allowed them to take advertisement tax.
Metro Rail authorities have been holding discussions with all the related departments such as the GHMC, TSCPDCL and also the Disaster Response and Fire Service Department for the last few months over these contentious issues.
For instance, the municipal corporation has been demanding a major share of the advertisement revenue from billboards put across the viaduct across the three corridors and this was being hotly contested by the L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH) building the project.
L&TMRH has been stating that as per the concessionaire agreement the GHMC was entitled to only licence fee and not a share in advertisement revenue. This has been sorted out now, claimed senior Metro Rail officials.
Similarly, the Disaster Response and Fire Services Department has been claiming that the stations build between Nagole – Mettuguda or the first construction stage does not conform to the National Building Code (NBC) to which the Fire Services Act is totally adhered to.
“It basically boils down to having two additional exit routes on the overhead stations for providing more safety for the commuters to be evacuated in the event of an emergency,” explained senior fire department officials. But, Metro Rail officials have been sticking to the Central Metro Act where the provision is missing. “Delhi Metro was built according to the Act but here our Fire Services Act is supreme so we have asked the Government to sort it out,” they said.
Apparently, that is what the Chief Minister has done. With regard to the power supply to the project, the pact is to provide the same at “no profit-no loss basis”.Not taking airport link a mistake: KCR
During the meeting with top Metro Rail officials and senior Government officials, Mr. Rao called upon the Metro Rail authorities of both Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited and L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad to consider linking Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad with the Metro Rail.
The Chief Minister felt that not taking the airport link was a “mistake”. The metro line can be build through Falaknuma and Raidurg and similarly, another metro link up could be from Chandrayanagutta to L.B.Nagar, an official press release from the CM’s office said.
Mr. Rao’s meeting with the top officials of the Metro Rail replaced the regular Tuesday meeting presided over by Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma to check on the project progress. Pointing out the crucial link of the metro with the main railway stations of Secunderabad and Nampally as well as Jubilee Bus Station and Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station, he said, the airport link was too glaring a miss.
While the concessionaire has the mandate to complete the project by July 2017, he wanted them to do it by April 2017 itself, a good three months before the scheduled date for the convenience of the citizens of the twin cities. The TS Government was spending about Rs.2,000 crore for road widening, shifting of utilities, acquiring properties, rehabilitation and so on across the 72 km three corridors where the project is being constructed.
It also took the initiative to get the Indian Railways permission for crossing over the land railway lines at eight locations. Similarly, the Defence Ministry was convinced to hand over one and a half kilometre of land for the project, he added.