HYDERABAD: The Telangana government on Monday allocated Rs 2,500 crore for Metro Rail project in Hyderabad including for extending metro services to the old city and for metro connectivity to the airport.
In the Budget for 2023-24 presented in the State Assembly, Rs 1,500 crore has been allocated for Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR).
The government also allocated Rs 500 crore each for extending Metro Rail services to the old city and metro connectivity to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad.
State Finance minister T. Harish Rao, in his budget speech, only elaborated on the allocation made for metro connectivity to airport. He noted that the number of air travellers using the international airport has been increasing day by day.
The expansion facilities at the airport at a cost of Rs 7,500 crore have been taken up to meet the requirements even if the air traffic goes up to 4 crore passengers per year.
He said the expansion facilities will be completed by June. The minister said with the objective of facilitating the passengers to reach the airport in the shortest possible time from different areas, it has been envisaged to extend metro rail services to the airport.
This metro lane will commence from Raidurg and terminate at Shamshabad Airport covering a distance of 31 km. Recently, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has laid the foundation for metro connectivity to the airport.
This project will be taken up at a cost of Rs 6,250 crore with own resources of the State government and will be completed within the next three years, he said. Another Rs 500 crore have been allocated for extending Hyderabad Metro Rail services to the old city.
An equal amount was allocated in the Budget for the previous year but the work was not taken up. L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH) has completed the first phase of the Metro Rail project across three corridors to a total length of 69.2 km.
While L. B. Nagar to Miyapur and Nagole to Raidurg corridors have been completed, Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) to Falaknuma is yet to be completed. On the third corridor, connectivity has been provided from JBS to Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) also called Imlibun.
The developer has not taken up expansion in the old city due to lack of permission. Religious and heritage structures along the proposed route in the old city and financial losses suffered by the developer and operator due to Covid-19 pandemic are cited as the reasons for the delay in construction of Metro works on the 5.5 km stretch.
The state government has still not made clear if it will fund the work in the old city on its own. The concessionaire is unlikely to fund the works as the project cost has already escalated substantially for property acquisition, shift of utilities like electricity lines, water pipelines and the construction of elevated viaducts as well as stations.
In 2021, AL&TMRHL sought the state government's help to overcome the losses it incurred due to the pandemic. The 73-km elevated metro is the biggest metro project in the world in public private partnership (PPP) model built at a total cost of Rs 20,000 crore.
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