Wednesday, August 29, 2012

L&T Hyd Metro gets 15 acres at Raidurg - scandal unfolding too fast?

Our comment: L&T Hyd metro scandal is unfolding too fast. We have been saying from the very beginning that it is a land-real estate project in the garb of metro. 15 acres of land at Raidurg in the IT hub Gachibowli area is the key for extension of the metro route by 1 km. This was not part of the Concession Agreement. Instead of at Shilparamam the Line-3 will now terminate one kilometre away. The news item says: “The terminal station at Shilparamam was aborted since the site was found to be on a lake bed.”  What a farcical reason. If so, didn't they know it before? It also says: there would be no need to acquire "any land for parking and circulating areas for the stations from institutions like Osmania University, National Institute of Nutrition, Koti Women’s College and others.” If so, then how are you going to provide parking space for commuters at these stations?
Metro rail extended till Raidurg (The Hindu, Hyd, 29 Aug 2012)
Hyderabad Metro Rail’s Line Three from Nagole to Shilparamam will now terminate one kilometre away at Raidurg with the Government issuing orders allotting 15 acres for developing parking and circulation area for the station on Tuesday.

The land was under the possession of A.P. Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) and has been handed over to the metro rail authorities for Rs.9 crore towards development charges excluding the land cost.

It will be part of the 269 acres to be provided for the project and apart from land for depots at Miyapur, Nagole and Falaknuma, 57 acres are for parking and circulation at the overhead stations.
With Raidurg land allotment, another 12 acres remain to be given. The terminal station at Shilparamam was aborted since the site was found to be on a lake bed.

The elevated train will now take a left turn near Hi-Tec City and culminate near the Mindspace-Raheja edifice at Raidurg, explained HMR Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy. The new station should come as a boon to the estimated 2 lakh-odd people working in the hub including those working in the adjacent financial district. It would also mean avoiding seeking any land for parking and circulating areas for the stations from institutions like Osmania University, National Institute of Nutrition, Koti Women’s College and others.

The extra kilometre for Line Three will escalate the Rs.14,132 crore project cost by Rs.200 crore. The third corridor will now be 28.52 km/24 stations. Line One is from Miyapur-L.B.Nagar – 28.87 km/27 stations and Line Two proposed from Jubilee Bus Station-Falaknuma is 14.78 km/16 stations and overall, the metro rail covers 72.16 km.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Metro works to be halted for biodiversity meet

As this scam-in the making continues, more startling revelations will be coming to the fore. Watch out - C.R
Larsen & Toubro told to halt metro works for biodiversity meet

B V Shiv Shankar, Times of India, Hyderabad, Aug 22, 2012.
HYDERABAD: The city's metro rail project has hit yet another roadblock. The government in its mad rush to beautify the city for COP 11 has instructed Larsen & Toubro that is executing the metro rail project, to stop work until the international biodiversity summit is over. But the instruction has caught L&T in a bind. For starters, it has come verbally and makes no mention whatsoever of compensating L&T for the loss it would incur for the days of work lost, that they estimate would be around Rs 300 crore. 

The Hyderabad Metro Rail authorities had verbally informed L&T in the first week of August to stop metro work from August 15 to October 19, when COP 11 ends. While L&T has so far not stopped work, officials said on Tuesday that pressure was mounting on them. "The government wants to get away without paying compensation by issuing such oral instructions. This is not fair as we will suffer a huge loss. If they want us to stop work, they must allow us to invoke Force Majeure clause," said a highly placed source in L&T. As per the concession agreement, L&T, the project concessionaire, can invoke Force Majeure clause claiming the compensation if the government issues "official instructions" to stop work. In the absence of a written communication, officials peg their estimated loss for this 60-day break at around Rs 300 crore, estimating that each day's delay is adding Rs 5 crore to the escalating project cost. 

Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had directed government officials to ensure that metro rail work did not come in the way of the bio-diversity convention to be held in the city from October 1 to 19.

Official denies effect of COP 11 on metro works 
The CM had sanctioned Rs 125 crore for city beautification, which includes a plan to upgrade 125-km road corridor from airport to star hotels, constructing 35 new fountains, proper sanitation and remodeling of junctions among others.

But NVS Reddy, managing director of HMRL, played down L&T's concern. He said, "It is not a big deal. If L&T wants us to issue instructions in writing, we are ready to do it. But, it has to be done on a proper forum." Denying the effect of COP 11 on metro project, Reddy said the works would be continuing in other parts of the city in the non-COP areas. "When the works would continue in other parts of the city, where is the question of invoking Force Majeure clause and paying for the loss," he questioned.

However, sources in L&T said the government has asked the company to stop the entire work as the beautification work is being carried out across the city and not just the arterial roads that delegates would be using. They further said that the amount of money the government was spending on beautification in non-COP areas would go waste as L&T would demolish all of it for metro construction work. And if NVS Reddy's claim that metro work would continue in non-COP areas is anything to go by, L&T said it would bulldoze over the beautified stretches even before the convention starts.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On Bengaluru Metro & Delhi's Airport Line

Though the following two problems are not directly related to Hyderabad, we are posting them because of the their relevance to the issue of metro projects in India --CR

Metro medians turn garbage dumps
Sunitha Rao R, TNN | Aug 6, 2012, 04.01AM IST
BANGALORE: Garbage contractors appear determined to ruin the city's aesthetics. Under pressure to find space to dump waste, they have begun offloading debris in medians between Namma Metro pillars. What was planned to be a colourful bed of flowers has become home for stinking heaps of garbage all along Reach 1 on the MG Road-Byappanahalli route.

Did DMRC compromise on airport metro line safety? 
Sandeep Kumar, IBN7
New Delhi: The government-run Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) has filed a report that exposes how the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Reliance Infra overlooked serious technical problems in the India’s first airport metro service.
The RDSO's report accessed by IBN 7 shows how the airport metro ran on broken clips for eight months. The report says 11,000 clips found broken on the IGI airport-Shivaji Stadium track.
The RDSO says the DMRC did not reply despite reminders. For more, click the following link-