Hyderabad: A two-judge panel of Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice K Lakshman on Friday ordered notices to South Central Railway (SCR) and State government in a PIL seeking direction for running of Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) trains in nearly 62-km lines of already completed sections of Phase II project in Hyderabad.
Hyderabad unit secretary of CPI(M) M Srinivas Reddy filed the petition assailing the Railways for not running the trains despite the tracks being commissioned for traffic over a year ago. The petitioner contended that the delay in running of trains was denying tens of thousands of potential commuters from poor sections of Hyderabad and surrounding areas affordable MMTS train services, at a time when fuel prices were increasing by the day.
Counsel NS Arjun Kumar, appearing for the petitioner, pointed out that MMTS was envisaged to provide an eco-friendly and affordable public transport system to people of Hyderabad metropolis, providing connectivity between twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, and the newly developing Cyberabad areas. The petitioner informed the court that the reason being cited for not commissioning the trains was a dispute between the State government and the SCR regarding sharing of costs for the Phase II project. While the State government should have paid Rs 606 crore for the project as per the agreed arrangement, it had contributed only Rs 129.02 crore, while the Railways had spent as on date Rs 678 crore, much more than its agreed share.
The petitioner said in this tussle, public money to the tune of Rs 808 crore, already spent on the project, was being wasted. It was also pointed out that this action of the Railways and the government violated the National Urban Transport Policy, 2006 formulated by the Centre with the objective “to ensure safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable and sustainable access for growing number of city residents to jobs, education, recreation and such other needs”.
Additional water drawing stayed
Justice T Vinod Kumar of Telangana High Court on Friday granted stay for drawing additional water under Kaleshwaram project II until December 17. The judge was dealing with a writ plea filed by Chindam Srihari and others for notifying their properties in Achampally village of Karimnagar. Sourabh Agarwal, counsel appearing for the petitioner, contended that the project had proceeded without any approval from Godavari River Management Board. The Telangana government issued a notification stating that it shall stop all ongoing works or unapproved projects from November 15 until the projects are appraised or approved.
The petitioner further submitted that the notification required the landowners whose names were found in the notification to file objections, if any, within 60 days. It empowered the landowners to file objections on the area and suitability of land proposed to be acquired, the justification offered for public purpose and based on the findings of the Social Impact Assessment report. It was observed that the notification to proceed with the enhanced capacity works was in gross violation of the directions issued by the Centre. The matter was adjourned to December 09 for further hearing.
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