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Telangana govt forms panel to help Hyderabad Metro

“It is regrettable that the pandemic situation forced the Metro Rail project into financial crisis and it was made to pay compound interests. The state government would come to the rescue of the prestigious Hyderabad Metro project,” the CM said.

IANS | Hyderabad |

The government of Telangana constituted a committee to recommend measures to help L&T Hyderabad Metro in view of the heavy losses due to less traffic on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The committee will comprise Municipal Administration Minister K.T. Rama Rao, R&B Minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy, Government’s Chief Advisor Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, CM’s Principal Secretary Narsing Rao, Finance Special Chief Secretary Ramakrishna Rao, MAUD Special Chief Secretary Arvind Kumar and Principal Secretary (Industries) Jayesh Ranjan.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao constituted the committee after a team of officials from L&T called on him, seeking government’s support to overcome the losses.

The CM instructed the Committee to submit its report shortly on how to save Hyderabad Metro from incurring losses after thoroughly studying all the aspects.

The chief minister assured the L&T officials that the government would help the Hyderabad Metro to be back on tracks.

The L&T officials have made repeated requests to the government to support them as the Hyderabad Metro Project had incurred heavy losses due to the Covid pandemic.

They met the chief minister on Tuesday to reiterate their request. They brought to his notice the situation due to financial losses suffered by Hyderabad Metro, Bank loans repayment, the mounting interests and urged the government to come to their rescue.

According to a statement issued by the chief minister’s office late Tuesday, he assured them that the government would explore all possibilities to help the Metro.

“Within a short span of time the Hyderabad Metro by providing safest travel services, became a popular public transport system. The pandemic had an adverse impact on Hyderabad Metro as it did for other sectors. Metro rail services are very necessary and there is a need to expand it in future,” the chief minister said.

“It is regrettable that the pandemic situation forced the Metro Rail project into financial crisis and it was made to pay compound interests. The state government would come to the rescue of the prestigious Hyderabad Metro project as it did for other sectors,” he said.

The chief minister said the state government would examine all the possibilities. In accordance with the public needs, the government has to make out of the box decisions during difficult times like the Corona pandemic situation. He said measures would be taken not only to support Hyderabad Metro but also to rejuvenate it.

Those present in the meeting include L&T CEO and MD S. N. Subramaniam, Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) MD N. V. S. Reddy, L&T Director D.K. Sen, Projects CEO Ajit, Hyderabad Metro CEO K.V.B. Reddy.

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.

L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited (L&TMRHL), the private partner in the project, has suffered huge losses due to Covid-19 induced lockdown. It was estimated to have suffered Rs 300 crore losses during five-and-a-half months last year when it could not operate the services.

The Metro operator suffered more losses due to lockdown in May-June this year.

Hyderabad Metro was operating 55 trains carrying about 4.5 lakh passengers every day before operations were suspended on March 22 last year.

After 169 days, the services resumed on September 7 but the new mandatory safety guidelines led to a big drop in the number of passengers travelling.

In February last year, with the launch of the 11-km stretch from JBS to MGBS, Hyderabad Metro Rail had become the second largest metro rail network in the country after Delhi.