Friday, June 17, 2016

Metro thru Sultan Bazaar - A failed promise

Metro thru Sultan Bazaar (Hyderabad) - A failed promise. Exactly five years back (17June 2011), KCR addressing a public meeting in Sultan Bazaar warning of bloodshed if the metro dares to enter this heritage bazaar. Four years later, protesting traders pleading KCR to keep his promise (14Dec2015). Today's morning photos of metro construction - Sultan Bazaar resembles a ravaged street.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Will Shri KCR keep his promise on Sultan Bazaar or not?

Will KCR keep his promise or dump them? If Sultan Bazaar is lost, a part of the history and soul of Hyderabad will be lost. It depends on KCR now. The bustling Sultan Bazaar and a section of Kothi observed bandh yesterday against the metro corridor-2 which will pass thru the bazar and raze many shops. In early 2011 Sultan Bazar, Badi Chawdi and Putlibouli markets observed bandhs and undertook protest actions several times. It was such a fierce resistance that, till today, the metro authorities dared not enter the area to conduct even soil tests.
On 17 June 2011, KCR addressed a public meeting in Sultan Bazar and warned of bloodshed if the market is touched. After becoming the CM of Telangana, he promised on the floor of the Assembly (I don't remember the date) that the metro would be diverted and will not touch Sultan Bazaar.
Several months have passed and now the L&T metro authorities have started visiting the area and making markings for pillars. The traders sensed the danger and observed a bandh yesterday reiterating their earlier demand. They also reminded Shri KCR to keep his word. However, one sad difference this time is that the Badi Chawdi did not participate in the bandh as differences cropped up between the traders of the two bazaars.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Centre denies Metro Rail to Vijayawada

Mr. Sreedharan's name has been used by several govts to forcibly thrust metro projects on cities. Vijayawada and Vizag are the latest victims. One is saved now. The Urban Devt ministry made scathing remarks on the DPRs prepared by him. The Social & Envi. Impact report for Hyderabad prepared by DMRC is third rate. We said it before. Read this item in Metro India.
The following news item is from Deccan Chronicle, 26 August 2015, Vijayawada edition 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

నిజంగా అయితే "మాట తప్పిన మెట్రో" అని కాప్షన్ వుండాలి. 
Hyd Metro Rail wants to default now. HMR entered into an MoU with Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH), GoI to build 11 flyovers parallel to the elevated metro on the 29-km corridor-1 (Miyapur-LB Nagar) on National Highway-9. It was signed on 18th October 2011. Timeline was to complete those flyovers in 4 years i.e., by October 2015. Works have not even been started. We argued then that construction of these flyovers will cause more damage the city. We even addressed a press meet. When the metro is brought in as a solution to traffic, why flyovers again? Can the existing roads provide sufficient space to build those flyovers parallel to the elevated metro corridor? Now, MORTH asked HMR to deposit Rs.300 cr to build those flyovers. HMR doesn't want to do it. The news item given below in Eenadu Telugu daily (24 July 2015) says that the HMR has changed its mind. If so, why did it sign the agreement with MORTH?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

L&T's letter to Govt for Project Takeover

This can’t be a routine letter. The 8-page letter is provided below with each page an image. I managed to get from a friend in the media.
Subject: Hyderabad Metro Rail: Project Takeover Proposal
The letter by L&T Metro’s MD, Mr. Gadgil, to the MD of HMR is dated 10th September 2014. It runs into 8 pages. In the letter, Gadgil cites 7 letters of correspondence between L&T, HMR and Chief Minister of erstwhile AP between 6 February to 15 July 2014. He raises two main issues in the letter. 1. Delay in providing Right of Way (ROW) for faster execution of works as per the Concession Agreement. Providing ROW is the obligation of the Govt of AP/T. 2. He raises the changed circumstances in the status of Hyderabad due to division of AP and its adverse impact on the financial viability of the metro.
In point 16, it is argued that “Prior to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad was the capital city of a state which was well developed, espousing various eminent districts and port towns. However, now it is the capital city of a smaller state with lesser resources than the undivided Andhra Pradesh……Further, there is reduction in the strength of representation of the State in the Parliament. Thus, the position of Hyderabad in drawing investments, both the Central Government and private sector has altered. Consequently, the potential returns from its real estate will get reduced…The change in the status of Hyderabad has resulted in a significant change in the economic and political outlook of Hyderabad, thereby causing material adverse impact on the financial viability of the Project”.
L&T did not think that AP will be divided. In point 22, he mentions that various agitations have been made, without any success, for creation of Telangana. So, we could not anticipate the bifurcation of AP till the AP Reorganisation Bill was introduced.
L&T seems to have hoped that the GHMC will be made a UT. In point 23(iii) he mentions that the creation of Greater Hyderabad in 2007 was viewed “as a precursor to converting the city into a Union Territory, if the state was split”.
In point 24, he states …”it would be most appropriate that the GoT should take over the Project and the underlying contract from the Concessionaire. The GoT should do so by restituting the Concessionaire in a manner whereby the Concessionaire’s property and entitlements are returned to it”.
If the L&T continues with this project it has to explain how it will become financially viable hereafter.

L&T wants the Metro to be taken by the Govt of Telangana

L&T giving up on Hyderabad Metro? It will be sensation. This came too sooner than expected. L&T is known to have written to the Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd (which represents govt of Telangana) that they can't proceed with this project, and asked the govt to take over it. Today's top headline in Andhra Jyothy paper. L&T seems to have repeatedly mentioned about non-provision of Right of Way due to which there is significant cost escalation, and bifurcation of the state. It feels that there is reduced prospects for financial viability of the metro in Hyderabad. It looks like that L&T believed that the state will not be divided, or Hyderabad will be an UT or a joint capital in a proper sense. My comment is quoted in the second picture given below.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Secunderabad Clock Tower getting dwarfed by Metro pillars

The famous Clock Tower in Secunderabad getting dwarfed by the pillars of the metro. It is a heritage structure. You can see the Clock Tower in the distance (Click on the photos for a better view). Tall pillars (more or less equal in height to the Tower) will be constructed close to the Tower which poses threat to the stability of the structure itself. Sultan Bazaar also lies in this corridor. Better to scrap this corridor-2 as the MMTS local train runs from Secunderabad to Falaknuma which can be strengthened easily.