Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan yesterday flagged off a metro train on Hyderabad Metro Rail's (HMR) much-awaited 16-km stretch between Ameerpet and LB Nagar. The opening of this stretch completes the entire 29-km Corridor One of the HMR project, now India's second-largest metro network after Delhi.
According to The Economic Times, it is also the world's largest metro project under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model with a total estimated cost of over Rs 20,000 crore courtesy time and cost overruns before and after the formation of Telangana state. The project cost was initially pegged at Rs 16,375 crore.
In the presentation made to the Governor yesterday, Minister for Municipal Administration K.T. Rama Rao pointed out that first and last mile connectivity is being provided through bicycles, bikes and taxis. Moreover, electric charging points will soon be provided for bringing electric vehicles into the fold.
Construction is now underway in two other routes in Hyderabad, 15-km-long Corridor Two connecting Jubilee Bus Station and Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station/Falaknuma, and the 28-km Corridor Three from Nagole to HiTec City/Raidurg, The Hindu reported. Altogether, 72 km of elevated metro line is being built by L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad in the three dense traffic corridors of the city, of which 46 km is now operational.
L&T, which had signed the concession agreement for the metro rail project in September 2010, was supposed to have completed all the three corridors by July 2017. But Corridor Two is running many months behind schedule while Corridor Three is only halfway done. However, a senior L&T official told ET that this stretch may take another 5-7 months for completion.
Nonetheless, the opening of the latest stretch bodes well for the city. More than one lakh passengers have been riding on the trains and the traffic is expected to double now.