Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hyderabad Metro IS A Real Estate Project

This is in Telugu. Please find below the images of my interview (titled INNERVIEW) today (24 Nov) in Andhra Jyothy, Telugu Daily, in Hyderabad. The lead is given in the front page and the main interview is in the second page. The title of the interview is "Metro IS a Real Estate Project". I argued how the on-going Hyderabad metro rail (HMR) is a real estate project, how we exposed several dimensions of this project over the last 5 years or so when authorities were refusing to share any information, how the traders in different areas got organised to protest, and how we QUESTIONED this project's claims to solve public transportation problems in the city. We also talked about no progress in our petitions in the High Court but it is a moral victory for us when, in another petition, the judge passed an Order saying that HMR cannot be built under the Tramways Act when it is a full-fledged railway project, and how the authorities did not implement the law. We also expressed our disappointment with the TRS party when it did not question the state government's proceeding with metro works without responding to the several valid issues raised by that party.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Osmania University lands - No to Metro Rail

OU refuses land to metro

DC, Hyderabad, October 18, 2012 By L. Venkat Ram Reddy
The lands belonging to Osmania University will not be alienated to the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project. HMR has sought nearly 25 acres belonging to Osmania University in Tarnaka, Koti and Secunderabad to build parking facilities and other amenities for the project. However, the stiff resistance from Osmania University staff and student organisations has forced the government to refuse land allotment for the project.
OU teachers, students and non-teaching staff had launched a “Save OU lands“ campaign in January 2011 to prevent university land being given to the metro rail project. They demanded that OU land should be used only for expansion of the university. They pointed out that giving away precious land was totally against the resolution passed by the university on December 26, 1986, as well as the report of the Justice O. Chinnappa Reddy Committee. Of the nearly 25 acres sought, two acres were in Koti Women’s College, and another two acres in PG College, Secunderabad, 1.7 acres on the NIN premises, Tarnaka, two acres in the State Archives, Tarnaka, 2.78 acres in the Tarnaka junction flyover and university road and 15 acres near Sarathi School, Habsiguda. The government has now decided to withdraw its proposal to acquire these OU lands and it will look for other alternatives.
Under the agreement signed with the concessionaire L&T, the state government has to allot 269 acres for the metro rail project. This included the 25 acres of OU. It has already identified and allotted 15 acres in Raidurg for the HMR in August and still needs another 13 acres. The government is searching for other land for developing parking facilities and circulation areas for metro rail stations.