Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Tuesday constituted a high-level committee that would go into the various aspects and possibilities to bring the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) back on track. The committee will examine all issues pertaining to the losses suffered by HMR on account of Covid-19 pandemic in the past one-and-half years, the Chief Minister said.
“The government, as its responsibility, will explore all avenues to bail out HMR from the losses that surfaced in the face of reduced patronage on account of the pandemic,” Chandrashekhar Rao said at a high-level meeting with L&T representatives and Ministers at Pragathi Bhavan to take stock of the situation.
The committee comprises MAUD Minister K T Rama Rao, R&B Minister V Prashanth Reddy, Chief Advisor to Government Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, CM principal secretary Narsing Rao and Special Chief Secretary (Finance) K Ramakrishna Rao, Special Chief Secretary (MAUD) Arvind Kumar and Principal Secretary (Industry) Jayesh Ranjan.
The committee has been asked to submit its report soon with recommendations on how to pull out HMR from the present distress. Representatives of L&T called on the Chief Minister and requested him to come to the rescue of the company which was facing financial losses, bank loans and rising interest rates. Responding to their pleas, the Chief Minister assured the company representatives that the government will extend necessary assistance in putting the HMR back on track and overcome the losses. The L&T representatives have been seeking the State government’s help for some time now since it was suffering losses.
The HMR had achieved recognition as a safe public transport system within a short time of its launch, he said. “Covid-19 has left a deep impact on all sectors and HMR is no exception. The Metro services are essential for Hyderabad which has been witnessing exponential growth, and that makes the Metro all the more important,” the Chief Minister said, adding that in fact, HMR will need to expand its services in the future.
HMR turned into a debt-ridden entity only because of the Covid impact, forcing it to cough up heavy amounts on interests alone, Chandrashekhar Rao observed. “Just as the State government extended help to other sectors hit by Covid, it will do the same in the case of the prestigious HMR too,” he said. “We will look into various ways to help HMR come out of the losses as also the feasibility. We will have to take decisions after giving all the aspects careful thought keeping in mind both people’s requirement of HMR services and the pandemic,” he said.
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