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Airport Metro design to be tweaked in view of rapid growth en route

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Hyderabad Airport Metro Limited (HAML) is already thinking of tweaking the 31-km ₹6,250 crore fast metro to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in view of rapid real estate development along the way, to accommodate the emerging riders, informed Managing Director N.VS. Reddy on Tuesday.

“Public transport is an effective way to decongest the twin cities and to make the capital region a liveable place. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao wants to focus on city traffic issues in the coming years. We are re-working the project taking into consideration the new developments in the design stage itself as it will almost become a city metro. Shamshabad could become part of the city in 10 years,” he told a press conference.

The ongoing Corridor III- Blue Line between Raidurg and Nagole has been a good example. “Who would have thought about Nanakramguda’s growth? We are having five lakh passengers travelling, and in two years, the passengers’ count is likely to reach seven lakh when we expect the project to become financially viable with property development by the concessionnaire,” he explained.

The HAML is still pouring through the tender documents submitted by L&T and NCL. The contractor will be soon chosen and sent to the government for a decision. Taking advantage of the Outer Ring Road (ORR), HAML has managed to reduce the costs per km to ₹200-₹210 crore by reducing the height of the piers and other software solutions when the usual cost is ₹300 crore per km.

“With regard to the 5.5-km MGBS-Falaknuma stretch, the government will be deciding the funding but 99% L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH) will be taking up the construction,” said Mr.Reddy. The State government has decided to seek Central government’s assistance with renewed project report for the 31-km Lakidikapul-BHEL and Nagole-LB Nagar lines at a revised cost of ₹9,100 crore.

It will also seek Centre’s funding for building the ₹60,000 crore 278-km eight metro extension corridors and four ORR corridors as was decided by the Cabinet on Monday. Or, other funding options like taking JICA – Japan International Cooperative Agency loan at 3% interest will also be explored, explained the MD.

Refusing to put a timeframe for completing these lines, he said it depends on the government permissions and funding. “Mumbai is spending ₹1 lakh crore on underground metro or ₹1,000 crore per km, Bengaluru and Chennai (@₹600 to ₹800 crore per km) are spending about ₹60 lakh crore each, so the proposed cost for new metro lines here is correct as we are going for elevated sections,” said Mr. Reddy.

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