The Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMR) is open to the idea of connecting skywalks leading from the overhead metro stations to office, educational institutions, commercial and residential complexes or even to important public buildings.
It will ensure that metro rail users need not get down onto the road and instead can directly walk towards their respective destinations straight from the station after alighting from the train. Of course, such convenience will not come for free.
The HMR is keen that the private buildings bear part of the skywalks construction cost of up to 50 per cent, said Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy. “We are planning for a fishbone concept of skywalks at different layers connecting to the station and the nearby facilities including setting them up under the viaduct,” he explained.
Of the 66 overhead stations proposed alongside the 72 km of elevated metro rail across the three dense traffic corridors of the twin cities, more than 200 such skywalks are expected to be built. These will be in addition to the escalators, lifts and staircases linking to the roads and to the two-level stations – concourse and the platform.
“The skywalks can also be used to crossover the busy road sections near the stations to make it convenient for metro riders. It can help a great deal in cutting down the 30 per cent or so estimated ‘avoidable’ trips made by the citizens daily thereby reducing road traffic too,” he explains.
The skywalks network is modelled on the lines of Bangkok metro rail. The web of skywalks will be part of the pedestrian friendly facilities being planned for the transport system. These works are to be taken up under the Central government funded Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) which could be up to Rs.200 crore.
The IIT (Delhi) has been entrusted with the task of coming up with a report on the pedestrian-friendly measures that can be taken up along with integration of different modes of transport, cycling and other non-motorised transport (NMT) facilities etc., at the stations, Mr. Reddy added.