The Telangana Government is committed to the Hyderabad Metro Rail project, will provide all the necessary support and is keen to complete it on schedule, said IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao on Friday.
“Hyderabad is projected to grow to a mega metropolis in the next 20 years, we may have to draw up plans to increase the metro network from the current 72 km (under-construction) to 250 km by 2040 to meet the needs of the growing population,” he explained.
The Minister was speaking at a launch of the first batch of post-graduate course in metro and rail technology by the Institute of Metro and Rail Technology (IMRT). But, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao wanted the metro rail authorities to explore any alternate alignment at a few places so as to protect the heritage structures.
Based on the feasibility report, the Government will take appropriate decision but all issues can be dealt with, he affirmed and stated that the city will be developed as an investment destination in various sectors such as science, pharma, films, sports etc. Besides, it was also exploring a Light Rail Transport System (LRTS).
Later, HMR MD N.V.S. Reddy said technical studies were on to look into possible alternate routes to avoid Legislative Assembly and Sultan Bazar. L&TMRH, concessionaire building the elevated project, will be informed if the Government takes any decision to change alignment and will also be compensated for any ‘minimum’ changes taken up based on the technical report, he explained.
Telangana Government has full rights over the project, he asserted while clarifying that the Centre’s project monitoring group in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) only reviews projects worth over Rs.1,000 crore.
Mr. Reddy also stated that stage one – Nagole-Mettuguda’s eight kilometer stretch is almost ready and trial runs can begin anytime. It will also be opened for public for next year’s Ugadi. Uppal depot was almost complete so is the Miyapur one. Four trains of three coaches have arrived and three more from Hyundai Rottendam (South Korea) are expected.
Former Union Secretary for Urban Development Sudhir Krishna said metros have come to be recognized as a very effective driver in management of cities but these mass rapid systems should be integrated with bus services and bicycles as secondary and tertiary transport modes. IMRT DG Gyan Prakash said that the first batch for the one year course for engineering students has 17 students and has been devised with inputs from the industry.