The Centre said the proposed second phase of metro rail for building the 26 km ₹8,453 crore elevated metro rail corridor from Lakdikapul to BHEL and extension of phase one metro rail project of 5 km from Nagole to LB Nagar is “not feasible at this juncture considering the proposed ridership and Passengers per Hour Per Direction (PHPD) is very less”!
In an official communication to the Telangana government, the Centre has instead advised it to take up “other modes” of transport or provide a “feeder system”. It also sought a roadmap for densification of proposed transit stations for enhancing ridership and furnishing of the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) policy.
The State government had thorough Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development K.T. Rama Rao had earlier written to Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri seeking financial assistance for the above mentioned metro line as well as the 31 km Airport Metro from Raidurg to Shamshabad in November last year.
It has now come to light through information sourced through the RTI Act by activist I. Ravi Kumar that the Centre had replied in December itself making its stance clear on the project feasibility. The Union Minister in his letter to Mr. Rao pointed out that metros are cost intensive and approvals are dependent on the feasibility of the project and availability of funds. But, the project was under appraisal of the ministry.
The Centre had also called for a fresh Detailed Project Report (DPR) with a revised cost estimate since the DPR sent for approval has been based on the 2018 base rates. Other information sought from the government on how it justifies the metro line alignment, details of the State Cabinet resolution clearing the work and formation of any special purpose vehicle for the project.
It also sought elaboration on the status and constitution of the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA), bench marking standards, creation of an Urban Transport Fund (UTF), commitment for financial sustainability during operation, details of the items covered under Public Private Partnership (PPP) along with cost and whether any foreign financial agency has been identified. The Centre had promised to send separate communication about extending any financial assistance to the Airport Express Metro between Raidurg and Shamshabad Airport.