Saturday, December 31, 2011

Exposing the hollow claims of HMRL

In response to the Press Meet yesterday, the news item published in The Hindu today (30 Dec) quotes the HMR officials denying that flyovers would be built and new properties taken over. They claimed that only junction improvements will be done. We released another statement today nailing their lies, and the MOU clearly talks about "grade separators/flyovers". The statement is given below:

Press Release (30 Dec 2011)
The Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) officials are trying to hoodwink the public by saying that there is no plan to build flyovers but only junction improvements (in a section of the media, 30 December 2011). They will get exposed badly in the coming days.

1.      Item 14 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by MD of HMR Mr. NVS Reddy with Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH), Government of India clearly uses the terms “grade separators/flyovers” to be built “simultaneously along with the construction of the metro viaduct, by HMRL at their cost” and then mentions the 11 junctions where such “grade separators/flyovers” have to be built. It is true that a grade separator can be an underpass or a flyover. Building underpasses at these busy and crowded junctions means taking up tunneling work which is not going to be an easy task at all. THE ONLY OTHER OPTION IS TO BUILD FLYOVERS.

For the JNTU junction the MOU clearly specifies that the “grade separator to be extended upto Nizampet junction on Pune side and Usha Mullapudi junction towards Hyderabad side”. Are we to believe that the HMRL will do tunneling for an underpass in this stretch? If not, what else can it be other than a flyover? And IT HAS TO BE PARALLEL to the Metro Corridor. It can’t be otherwise. So is the case with other junctions. Whom are the HMRL officials trying to fool?

Is the HMRL planning to do tunneling for underpasses at Maithrivanam (Ameerpet, where metro corridors 1 & 3 intersect above the road), Khairatabad and Mozamjahi Market? If so, why can’t they come out with full facts?
2. Another big lie being told by the HMRL officials is that no properties are going to be acquired for this corridor. 
The Annexure-II of the MOU clearly provides the details of properties to be acquired. Beginning from Miyapur to L.B.Nagar it identifies five stretches and provides the number of properties (302) and their area (51,843.9 sq.mts) on the Right Side, and on the Left Side (375 properties worth 63,136.9 sq.mts). That means a total of 677 properties (worth 114,981 sq.mts of area) have to be demolished along this corridor for road widening so that metro corridors and the flyovers can be built.

3.      Item 19 of the MOU says: “In case, the above mentioned measures in toto are not implemented by HMRL at their own expense, this Agreement/MOU will cease to exist”.

So, what next? Can HMRL escape from the MOU if it has to take up works on this corridor?

It is amazing to see the eagerness of the metro officials to ‘debate’ with public and claims of their transparency. Even under RTI Act, they refused to provide the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of the metro project. What a sham transparency?
It is also amazing to see the HMRL officials claim a monopoly of knowledge on Hyderabad’s traffic and its future. That most of them came from other govt departments, from sanitation to accounts, on deputation with hardly any prior experience on city transportation speaks volumes about their knowledge over the city.

Hyderabad is not Dubai, it is meaningless to compare them. It is a shame to compare it with London. European cities have given highest priority to pedestrians and cyclists. What to talk of Hyderabad on these parameters?
Ever since the metro project came to fore, the BRTS has been practically shelved/killed and not a rupee allocated to the MMTS (local trains) phase-II that should have been completed in 2005 and benefitted millions of people. And they talk about the present and future of traffic in Hyderabad?
We will continue to expose the destructive nature of this project in all its dimensions in the coming days.
1.      Dr. C. Ramachandraiah, Social Scientist, Convenor, Citizens for Better Public Transportation in Hyderabad
2.      Shri B. Ramakrishna Raju, Convenor, National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM), Andhra Pradesh
3.      Mr. O.M. Debara, General Secretary, Forum For a Better Hyderabad (FBH)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

11 New Flyovers on Metro Corridor 1

Citizens for a Better Public Transport in Hyderabad

(A coalition of civil society organizations and individuals)
Press Release - 29 December 2011

A disaster is waiting to happen on the Metro Corridor-I (Miyapur-L.B Nagar) - Prevent it and Save this city

The conditions stipulated by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH), Government of India, for the Miyapur-LB Nagar route on National Highway-9 (Metro corridor 1) and accepted by the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between them on 18th October 2011 are going to devastate Hyderabad city. It appears like the HMR authorities have not paid any thought to their implementability and their devastating impact on the city at all.

The metro itself is an elevated corridor for 29 km with 27 stations at 50-70 feet above the road on this corridor. It’s like a flyover from one end to the other end of the city. And then imagine building 11 new flyovers simultaneously along the same road in parallel direction of the metro. And two rail under bridges (RuBs) at Malakpet. At least 25-30 feet gap has to be left between the flyovers and the metro corridor. Is this possible on Hyderabad roads? Imagine the untold hardships that the citizens will be subjected to.
The new flyovers to be built are at –
1.      JNTU junction (Kukatpally) which should be extended upto Nizampet cross road on one side and Usha Mullapudi junction on the other.
2.      Godrej Y-junction (Kukatpallly)
3.      S.R. Nagar
4.      Maithrivanam (Ameerpet)
5.      Khairatabad junction
6.      Mozamjahi Market
7.      Moosarambagh junction
8.      Gaddiannaram junction
9.      Dilsukhnagar junction
10.  Chaitanyapuri junction
11.  Kothapet junction
Can anyone think of constructing flyovers and metro corridors at Maithrivanam (Ameerpet, where metro corridors 1 & 3 have to intersect above the road), Khairatabad and Mozamjahi Market? The M.J.Market is a historic heritage monument. Can it withstand such constructions in close vicinity?

Further, as per the MOU, 677 properties (worth 114,981 sq.mts of area) have to be demolished along this corridor for road widening so that metro corridors and the flyovers can be built.

Completion of a flyover in the busy streets takes 2-3 years even with precast building methods. If the metro corridor 1 of 29 km with 27 stations has to be taken up along with these new 11 flyovers, can they be completed in 4 years?

What do they want to do this city? Is the city meant only for cars, construction companies and contractors? The HMR and L&T seem to be playing hide & seek with the public regarding the true face of the metro in this corridor.

We demand that the L&T should make public the designs of the stations, including the metro intersection points, and the new flyovers. Even today the public are kept in dark about these hard realities. What else can you call this if not a scandal? Will the political parties take note of this?
Unless these issues are resolved, the metro works should be stopped immediately until these issues are resolved.  

1.      Dr. C. Ramachandraiah, Social Scientist, Convenor, Citizens for Better Public Transportation in Hyderabad
2.      Shri B. Ramakrishna Raju, Convenor, National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM), Andhra Pradesh
3.      Mr. O.M. Debara, General Secretary, Forum For a Better Hyderabad (FBH)

Chikkadapally traders protest

THE HINDU, HYDERABAD, December 29, 2011
Chikkadpally traders down shutters in protest

The busy commercial hub of Chikkadpally wore a deserted look on Wednesday as the traders downed their shutters supporting the one-day ‘dharna' and ‘vanta vaarpu' programme organised by the BJP and Chikkadpally Federation of Commerce (CFC) at Chikkadpally. The traders were demanding better compensation package for the loss of their land in the Metro Rail project.

While government maintains that there are only about 100 shops that would be affected by the Metro Rail II phase project at Chikkadpally, the BJP National secretary K. Laxman says that about 387 shops would be affected during the construction. “Though the Metro Rail will reduce the traffic congestion and provide efficient public transport system, the traders should not be victimised in the process,” he said.

Outlining their demands, CFC president C. Nand Kumar said that the compensation for the land should be given at prevailing market rates. Their demands also include providing compensation to all the affected traders without discrimination, and providing alternate accommodation to the traders and tenants who are set to lose more than 80 per cent of their property because of the project.

“The proposed compensation of Rs. 45,000 per sq yard is far below the actual market prices,” Mr. Kumar said. “Besides, the officials claim that about 70 establishments are located on government lands and are offering a very low compensation package to them,” he said adding that these shops have been functioning for more than seven decades and have proper registration papers.

“How can the officials claim these properties as government land while they were collecting taxes all the while?” Mr. Kumar questioned.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Traffic signals don't function, who cares?

Is the AP state govt serious about improving traffic flow in Hyderabad? If you think 'yes', (by looking at the hurriedness for the metro rail, then you are mistaken. Traffic police and GHMC asked for Rs. 25 cr to improve the signalling system. GHMC also asked for diverting the lakhs of rupees collected every month by traffic police as fines from vehicle users. It now goes to the state govt. The state govt allocates only Rs. 10 cr that too from GHMC funds. The latter backs off. Hell with the traffic, who cares? We only love the metro! - CR
GHMC backs off traffic management project
S Bachan Jeet Singh, Express News Service,  20 Dec 2011
HYDERABAD: The proposed Hyderabad Traffic Integrated Management System (HTRIMS) to improve traffic signaling system effectively in Greater Hyderabad limits has hit a roadblock as the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has decided to back off from the project. A few days ago, GHMC Commissioner M T Krishna Babu had written a letter to Sam Bob, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD), informing that the corporation was in no position to bear the burden of this project.

The MAUD had sanctioned Rs 10 crore from the GHMC funds to install and maintain effective traffic signaling system to the Police Commissioner, Hyderabad under the 100-day action plan. But the funds never materialised.

The GHMC, in association with the Hyderabad Traffic Police, had proposed the advanced traffic signaling system called HTRIMS. The project comprises design, site preparation, supply, installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance and operation of traffic signals in GHMC and it was envisaged for a period of five years from the date of commissioning of HTRIMS project with a tentative cost of Rs 25 crore. There are about 220 traffic signals functioning in the city for smooth flow of traffic.
The GHMC wanted the state government to either divert the funds that are collected by way of challans by the Traffic Police to the HTRIMS project or said the project may be funded directly by the government.

The state government launched a 100-day action plan this year with the main aim of improving civic amenities in the GHMC by improving sanitation, roads, water supply, power and traffic. In response to this, Additional Commissioner, Traffic made a proposal to the government and requested sanction `25 crore to carry out various measures intended to improve traffic flow in the city.
The government after studying the matter accorded sanction to release an amount of `10 crore from the GHMC funds to install and maintain effective traffic signaling system and other measures aimed at improving traffic flow in the city. But the funds haven’t been released till date prompting the GHMC to back out of the project altogether.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chennai Metro's threat to Airport

Chennai Metro will derail Airport safety: DGCA
Mamta Todi Khaitan, Express News Service, 16 Dec 2011
NEW DELHI: A safety assessment carried out at the Chennai Airport to explore the viability of the upcoming Metro Rail link has identified several risks. Not only did the assessment, as per Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) norms, identify substantial risks to aircraft operations but also cites grave security concerns. The assessment, done on various parameters set by DGCA, concluded that there is over 95% risk in allowing the Metro Rail link construction in its current format.

“The DGCA report highlighted how the Metro Rail will bring an impacting change of airport and aircraft operations, how new disaster management rules will have to be laid down, new procedures for missed approaches will have to be figured out,” a DGCA official said. The report also concluded that the electromagnetic effect from the moving train, performance loss of an aircraft, sabotage probabilities and other such critical risks will become paramount.

On a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the most substantial risk, DGCA rated ‘7’ to all of these parameters, highlighting the grave danger for giving approval to the Metro project in its current format. “While Metro Rail...offered to cover the surface of the moving train with concrete, they have not specified how strong it will be. A superficial cover will serve no purpose. If the concrete box fails to take the load of the landing aircraft, it will bring in contact 25,000 volts of the Metro line with the aircraft resulting in disaster,” the official said.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mayhem at Mehdipatnam

Dear all, 
Though this is not directly related to the metro rail project, I am posting this to highlight the sheer callousness of the authorities in Hyderabad towards public transportation, pedestrians and buses at one of the busiest junctions in Hyderabad - Mehdipatnam. More vehicles & people travel on the road but no infra for them whereas hundreds of crores spent on the monster flyover to the airport for a few people. This flyover represents the present development model - favour the contractors and the rich with total connivance of the official-political class.
A photo and news item appeared in Times of India today (12 Dec). The link is:
The news item says: ‎"The area, which acts as a changeover point for passengers to reach different parts of the city, has no foot-over-bridge, no pavements for pedestrians and practically no traffic regulation." 

On the metro front, after Ameerpet, the affected people in Krishnanagar sent away the L&T workers from the soil-testing works in their area. They were forced to pack up their equipment and leave. Great news.

best regards,


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Traders prevent L&T staff on Metro works

Great news. That is an indication for future. "Until their interests are taken into consideration, they will disrupt any work related to the metro project" is the warning of the traders. If govt thinks they can bulldoze thousands of shops, people won't take it lying down. L&T, better watch out and get out of this project.
Traders disrupt metro rail work at Ameerpet
Times of India, Hyderabad, Dec 3, 2011.
HYDERABAD: Officials of L&T who started the initial inspection work at Greenlands, Ameerpet on Friday for the Hyderabad metro project, were forced to leave the site within a few minutes by protesting local traders. The officials who had started surveying the area at around 11:30 am were soon confronted with the members of the trader community of Ameerpet who questioned their presence since they had obtained a stay order from court. 

"The stay order issued by the high court does not permit any project-related work to start here. This is nothing but contempt of court," said A N Shankar, president, Anti-Metro Rail Project Ameerpet JAC. 
The protestors did not allow the officials to carry out any inspection and forced them to leave the site. They said no work can be taken up until the matter is settled in court. The surveyors soon left the site. Traders had moved the court against the metro corridor passing through Ameerpet demanding to know why its original plan through Punjagutta was changed.

B Gopal, a protesting trader of the area, who is also losing a significant portion of his property to the project said, "The proposed road widening in this area has no uniform pattern on either side of the road. The project officials and the government should hold transparent discussions with us and only after that they should go ahead with the project. How can they ignore us when we have been an integral part of this area and our life revolves around it?" Another protesting trader C H Naveen threatened that until their interests are taken into consideration, they will disrupt any work related to the metro project.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Good News - GHMC refuses to take up Metro rail works

Some good news by default. I wish the GHMC sticks to this stand. Any small move is hugely welcome to stop this scandalous project. With the MIM party likely to take up the Mayor's post from December onwards, I hope the issue of the Metro corridor-2 thru the old city will become an issue. - C.R
GHMC won’t take up metro rail civic works: Panel
Times of India, Hyderabad| Nov 25, 2011.
HYDERABAD: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) standing committee has rejected to take up civic works on the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) corridors. A resolution to this effect was passed by the standing committee meeting on Thursday. 

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) members raised objections over the issue of civic works like formation of footpath, construction of storm water drains on the Musheerabad-RTC Crossroads- Narayanguda stretch to be taken up at a cost of Rs 11 crore after widening the roads for Hyderabad Metro Rail. Metro corridor-2 from JBS to Falaknuma passes through Musheerabad and Narayanaguda. The road is being widened to 100 feet by the GHMC, but funds for land acquisition are being released by the HMR. "Why should the GHMC spend Rs 11 crore for HMR's works? HMR should release funds for these works," the MIM members pointed out. 

The MIM members also said the rail developer, L&T, would get good ad revenue once the road would be widened and metro rail becomes operational. The members demanded a resolution should be passed demanding 50% advertisement revenue from the developer after metro trains become operational. Agreeing on the concern, the standing committee adopted a unanimous resolution on the issue.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bangalore metro - Truth comes out after the hype subsides

Bangalore's Namma Metro was launched in stretch of 7km or so with a lot of hype on 20th October, 2011. Now the metro seems to be running with empty coaches and the feeder buses are also going to be withdrawn. The MD of BMTC talks of reintroducing them once Phase 1 works are over. As per the present schedule of the Namma Metro, the phase 1 is likely to be completed only in 2014. So, till then, keep running the metros as toy trains? - CR

BMTC to phase out Metro feeder services?
Shyam Sundar Vattam, Express News Service, 03 Nov 2011
BANGALORE: The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) plans to gradually phase out feeder services to the ‘Namma Metro’ temporarily due to lack of patronage. The corporation may re-introduce the feeder services once Phase 1 works are completed. The BMTC, before the inauguration of Metro train services, had deployed a fleet of buses to cater to the demands of commuters. But now it is finding difficult to run the service as not more than 2 or 3 commuters travel in each bus even during peak hours. More than the cost, the BMTC feels, it is not viable to run the buses empty even in busy hours.

“The corporation does not mind running feeder buses even if there are 15-16 passengers in each bus but certainly not for 2-3 persons,” said Srinivasan, Managing Director of BMTC.
He told Express that the idea of having feeder services is to facilitate the commuters of Metro train. Now it is found that there are not many passengers for feeder buses. Besides, Byappanahalli Metro Station is not a work centre because of which there are no regular commuters in these buses.

People may start using feeder services if the Metro train service is extended up to Peenya or other places where there are big chunks of workers. In view of this, the BMTC has started phasing out the feeder services at many places. It is also running feeder services from far off places like Majestic and Banashankari since many people are flocking M G Road and Byappanahalli stations for a ‘jolly ride’ in Metro trains.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Many hurdles to the metro

‘Relocate religious structures on metro rail corridors’
Times of India, Hyderabad, 23 October 2011
Hyderabad: Traffic police have asked Hyderabad Metro Rail and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation authorities to first remove bottlenecks, including religious structures, on the three metro corridors and alternative routes before initiating civil works. 
    Traffic police officials told STOI that the carriageway along the metro corridors would shrink drastically and there was an urgent need to first widen roads and remove bottlenecks so that traffic could move freely during metro rail construction. 
    A study done by the Hyderabad traffic police had identified hundreds of religious structures, including temples, mosques, chillas and others on the median or along either side of the roads. The issue was also brought to the notice of chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy during a review meeting.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

L&T gives up on Hyderabad Metro

This is a news item that appeared on 15th October 2011 in Andhrajyothy, a popular Telugu Daily. This was on the same day when the item "L&T getting jittery over Metro Rail" appeared on the front page of TOI. In this item, the CEO of L&T Hyd Metro, Mr. Gadgil says that they can't say when the metro works will be started.

Monday, October 17, 2011

L&T getting jittery over Metro Rail

L&T getting jittery over Metro Rail
Co. May Ditch Project Over Land Acquisition Delay
B Krishna Prasad, Times of India, Hyderabad, 15 Oct,2011.
A very interesting and also an encouraging news to the activists the top headline item that appeared on the Times of India, Hyderabad on  15 October 2011 probably reflects the current state of affairs regarding the Hyd metro rail project, and the frustration of the L&T company in executing the same. The news item says, among other things, - 
-       several reasons like delay in land acquisition and pressure by local politicians for sub-contracts, for forcing it to re-consider going ahead with the project”.
-        Independent director of L&T “complained to the government over the inordinate delay in the handing over of 269 acres of land as agreed upon in the agreement”.
-       facing pressure from several local politicians to allocate subcontracts to parties of their choice”.
-       the government penalty to L&T for the delay in the project stands at nearly Rs 60 crore”. 
-       L&T is "paying huge interest for the loans it secured from various banks after the financial closure for the project in March 2011”.
-       L&T is "annoyed with the day-today interference in the execution of the project by HMR managing director N V S Reddy”.
-       L&T team has been seeking an appointment with the Chief Minister for the past one month "but has been unsuccessful so far”.

Full item is given below:

Hyderabad: Construction giant Larsen & Toubro, the private promoter of the Hyderabad Metro Rail project, has stated several reasons like delay in land acquisition and pressure by local politicians for sub-contracts, for forcing it to re-consider going ahead with the project.
    Independent director of Larsen & Toubro Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited, a subsidiary and a special purpose vehicle of the L&T Infrastructure Development Projects, and retired IAS officer Sheila Bhide, recently complained to the government over the inordinate delay in the handing over of 269 acres of land as agreed upon in the agreement. "Apart from land acquisition, we are facing pressure from several local politicians to allocate subcontracts to parties of their choice," said sources in the company.
    According to the sources, the land acquisition process is the main reason for L&T having second thoughts about the project. As per the agreement, the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project (HMR), a government body, has to acquire the land for the project and hand it over to L&T. HMR in turn has entrusted the land acquisition job to GHMC. The 71.16 km-long rail project is to be constructed on three corridors, Miyapur-LB Nagar (28.87 km), Jubilee bus Station-Falaknuma
(14.78 km) and Nagole-Shilparamam (27.51 km) at a cost of Rs 12,132 crore and L&T bagged it in global bids floated by the state government after the project was cancelled, after Maytas the original promoter went bust post the Ramalinga Raju scam.
    But as of date, the land acquisition process has not made any progress in areas including the Purani Haveli Road-Shalibanda stretch in Old City, the Greenlands-Ameerpet-Madhuranagar-Krishna Nagar stretch, Country Club at Greenlands (where a station is supposed to be located), Prakash Nagar, Begumpet (parallel to the old airport flyover), from Punjagutta to Lakdi-ka-pul and Madhapur. “This is not surprisng because the project had been envisioned by Ramalinga Raju as a realtyled one. After it went phut, the government should have reviewed the project and changed the routes. But it did not do so. Everbody knew that there would be land acqusition problems,” an analyst said.
    To speed up the land acquisition, the government set up a committee comprising the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) additional commissioner (development planning) K Dhananjaya Reddy, deputy collector for land acquisition, the executive engineer of the respective corridor and the Hyderabad Metro Rail general manager for land management. But even that has not helped in speeding up the land acquisition process. 

L&T paying huge interest on loans 
    “We are also concerned over the delay in the land acquisition process,” B Sam Bob, principal secretary, municipal administration, told TOI.
    Because of the delay in the land acquisition process, the L&T management is paying huge interest for the loans it secured from various banks after the financial closure for the project in March 2011. L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd has already submitted a performance guarantee of Rs 360 crore to the state government. A consortium of 10 banks led by SBI has sanctioned the entire debt requirement of Rs 11,480 crore and the equity component of around Rs 3,440 crore would be infused by the L&T group for the project.
    The state should also have reasons to worry over the delay in the project, as if it does not hand over 90% of the land to the private promoter within 90 days of the payment of Performance Surety, the state would have to shell out Rs 36 lakh per day of delay in the project. The penalty clause came into effect on May 5 this year, and as of date, the government penalty to L&T for the delay in the project stands at nearly Rs 60 crore.
    “Execution of the Metro Rail project is a highly skilled work and any deviation from the quality norms would doom it. Some works involving non-skilled activity can be given to local contractors, but not the major ones as is being demanded,” said the sources in the company. L&T is also reportedly annoyed with the day-today interference in the execution of the project by HMR managing director N V S Reddy.
    To bring all these issues to the notice of chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, an L&T team has been seeking an appointment with him for the past one month but has been unsuccessful so far. Miffed by the indifferent response, the company recently asked a senior cabinet minister to prevail over Kiran Kumar and ensure that he meets the company’s representatives. According to the minister, the CM assured him that he would meet the L&T team after the ongoing Telangana strike ends.

Growing resistance to the metro rail

Bandh against Metro Rail Corridor-III total
S. Bachan Jeet Singh, The New Indian Express, 15 Oct 2011
HYDERABAD: Slogans of ‘Metro rail should go underground’, ‘Say no to metro rail and save our businesses and families’ and ‘Metro rail is a real estate business and Hyderabadis don’t want such a project’ rented the air when hundreds of businessmen of Greenlands, Krishna Nagar, Yousufguda, Madhura Nagar and other places took out a massive rally in the city on Friday after observing a total trade bandh against the proposed Metro Rail Corridor-III route. The Metro Rail Corridor- III between Nagole and Shilparamam, covers Greenlands, Krishna Nagar, Yousufguda, Madhura Nagar and other areas. For the full item, go to -

Shops shut down at Ameerpet-Greenlands Road
(Photo by C. R, 14 Oct 2011)
City traders’ bandh against Metro Rail
Times of India, Hyderabad, 15 October 2011
TRS which has been demanding a change in the metro rail plan at Sultan Bazaar, participated in the protest at Ameerpet with party MLA K Tarakarama Rao and its politburo member D Shravan Kumar joining the traders. The leaders promised traders that they will take up the matter at an all-party meeting. A N Shankar, a trader from Ameerpet said, “Hundreds of families will get affected due to this project and it is time the government took a serious note of it. This is nothing but discrimination against small-time traders.” He added, “It is surprising that there was no debate or discussion on this project by the government.”  R Sayanna, a resident of Krishnanagar who has been actively opposing the metro rail project said, “If there are underground metro routes in several countries, why can’t it be here. This is more of a real estate business than a metro rail project.” Another protestor N Kumar from Krishnanagar said that this was only the beginning of the agitation and in future if the problem is not resolved they would not let metro work begin.

Protest meeting at Ameerpet cross roads (Photo by C.R)

Hyderabad: Total bandh was observed by traders at Ameerpet, Madhuranagar, Yousufguda and Krishnanagar on Friday against the proposed metro rail corridor that would go through this stretch. Traders held protest rallies and demanded that the government either opt for an underground corridor or change its route. Hundreds of shops remained closed along the stretch through the day and the protesting traders were joined by the local residents who extended support to them.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

L&T fed up with Metro MD

Times of India, 19 September 2011.
Another of his tribe 
Probably the only other officer to leave a central service and join the state government is another railway man, N V S Reddy. An Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS) official, NVS forced his way into the state government to become the permanent managing director of Hyderabad Metro Rail Corporation. Reddy is these days busy with the metro rail project and spares no one who questions the way the project is being taken forward. At the receiving end are not only NGO representatives but also members of the fourth estate. Reddy is too smart to take them head on but spreads tales that they are working at the behest of 'vested interests." A little bird says that the project contractors Larsen & Toubro (L&T) are also fed up with the way that Reddy conducts his public affairs and speaks out of turn.