Hyderabad: project in the city neither suffered from cost overruns nor was the concessionaire, L&T, given any extra land than what was originally agreed upon before the project began, Municipal Administration & Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao said on Thursday.
Answering queries during the Question Hour in the Assembly, Rama Rao said the fact was that the Hyderabad Metro Rail project was the fastest to be brought on stream – in seven years – compared to other metros in the country including the ones in Delhi and Chennai. The Minister said that the average passenger traffic each day on the city’s Metro was three lakh. In comparision, the Chennai metro, after five years in service, carries about 70,000 passengers a day.
Rama Rao was addressing concerns expressed by Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and party MLA D Sridhar Babu on the Metro rail. He said the ticket prices on the Metro – ranging between Rs 10 and Rs 60 – were decided by the concessionaire and the Government as per the agreement between the two. This is the largest Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer project in the world taken up as a public private partnership. The agreements were done during the then Congress regime in ertswhi8le Andhra Pradesh and the TRS government ensured its speedy completion, he said.
Rama Rao said that concessionaire L&T which invested Rs 14,000 crore in the project is allowed, as per the agreement, is allowed to recover 50 per cent of its investment through ticket sales, five per cent through advertisement revenue and 45 per cent through leasing of retail space it developed in the land allotted to it.
He also rejected the charge that a delay in deciding the alignment opposite the Assembly complex led to cost overruns. Yes, it is true that during the Statehood movement, our party president and now Chief Minister demanded a change of alignment in order to protect the Telangana Martyr’s Memorial at Gun Park opposite the Assembly. “We ensured that the line was redesigned and moved to 20 metres away from its original alignment protecting the monument,” he said.