Just a few months ago, BJP legislator T. Raja Singh took up a protest demanding that the government build the metro line into the Old City from MGBS upto Falaknuma through Salar Jung Museum, Shalibanda, Shamshergunj and Jungamet, as per the original plan for Green Line which halted at the Imlibun bus station.
The Majlis Party, which has a political stranglehold on the area, seems to have come around and has been seeking, at least in public, the completion of the project. It had earlier prevailed upon the government for avoiding the original alignment given the presence of religious structures and required acquisition of over 1,000 properties.
The alternate route proposed by the Majlis Party was alongside the Musi river, High Court, City College, Hussainialam, Kalapahat and Bahadurpura route which would have increased the distance by another 3 km and enhanced the cost. This line also would have been away from the bustling neighbhourhoods, defeating the very purpose of running metro train service. This was abandoned and so was the original route although, every now and then, the government vows to build it allocating ₹500 crore to it in the budget.
Last year, HMR had conducted another survey but the contents were not revealed. It was only said that it could cost up to ₹2,500 crore to build the line to an extent of about 5.5 km till Falaknuma where there is a 17-acre land for a depot. Since this depot is not functional, an extra one km was built connecting Blue Line and Green Line in Secunderabad for taking the latter’s trains to either Miyapur or Nagole depots for maintenance.
Senior officials point out that if the line could have been built up to Falaknuma, it would have been easier and less expensive to take it towards the GMR Hyderabad International Airport as it is just 15 km away. Yet, the government chose the more expensive and lengthy Gachibowli-ORR (Outer Ring Road) route, considering a more assured ridership on this route that is ready to pay more.