Thursday, February 28, 2013

MMTS train services neglected to favour Metro?

Vijayaraghavan Krishnamurthy's posting in MMTS Travellers' Group in Facebook:
While the Hyderabad Metro work starts in full swing, the city public transport which was to be strengthened by the MMTS - esp Phase II activities, gets a meagre allocation of Rs 30 Crores. How many such budgets we see like this without much or no allocation ? While authorities keep on talking that MMTS is one modes of transport which would be complimenting Metro - Where is that shown in action ? With so many MPs from AP / Hyderabad - not a single person is willing is take this up cause ... This has been a case of abandoned baby. While they talk about Rs 20,000 crores for the Metro, case of Rs 750 crores suddenly becomes problem for MMTS. Does this not show that is being sidelined ? - Is this not a clear case for those who claim that MMTS is being improved and is going to compliment the Metro ? At this moment i get reminded about the "Competition Clause" in the agreement of HMR. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Metro works bring city to halt

This is only the beginning as the metro works started in bits and pieces. "Call it the price you have to pay for development or just a colossal test of patience, fact is that ever since the metro work construction has begun in the city, neverending serpentine rows of vehicles, constant honking and road rage has become everyday reality of every Hyderabadi" says the news item in Times of India, Hyderabad Times, 9 Feb13. (  

Srividya Vemuri, a corporate professional, who commutes from Uppal to Gachibowli, has also found relief in local trains. “Travelling from Secunderabad to Hitec City via road is a two-hour journey as opposed to a swift 15 minutes by MMTS. I’ve cancelled my office cab and prefer going this way. It’s cheaper too,” she says. 
(CR- The HMR is campaigning that the inconvenience is only temporary. But the so called temporary can be a very long time. The Hyderabadis' real taste of this 'development' is yet to come.
It may be noted that MMTS is a local train service. It should have been strengthened by adding more services and completing a second phase, all in less than Rs. 600 cr. But the state govt has not shown any interest in this. Only on the expensive metro mega project.) (Photos courtesy: The Times of India, 9 Feb 13.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Drinks, Dinner and Dance

This is just to share on the tactics employed by the Hyderabad metro authorities (govt’s HMR and the private L&T) to promote an image for the metro in the city. This has nothing against the participants in the so called ‘interaction’ as we have a lot of good friends in the journalist fraternity.
On 20th January, the metro authorities invited many journalists for an ‘interactive’ session. It was not in their office in the city but at Taramati Baradari, a place known for cultural shows and partying on the outskirts of the city. What followed was less of interaction and more of drinks and dinner (with some dance by the chiefs of the HMR and L&T metro).  We are reproducing below an item in the Times of India, Hyderabad, 22 January 2013 under the title CHATPATA (image also inserted below the text).

“The NVS-Gadgil show “
“It was supposed to be a serious interaction (or so said the invite) with NVS Reddy and V B Gadgil over the future of metro rail in Hyderabad. But to everybody’s surprise, the event organised at Taramati Baradari over the weekend turned out to be comical with the Hyderabad Metro Rail chief deciding to entertain his guests by shaking a leg to some disco numbers being played by an orchestra team that had been especially brought in for the occasion. If that wasn’t shocking enough for the invitees, Reddy was soon heard crooning some Telugu folk songs (written to promote the metro rail) in his not-so-melodious voice leaving the gathering to wonder just what the meet was all about. The pool side party got even more colourful with the L&T CEO joining in, not to speak about the progress of the transport project, but render a peppy English number for his audience. That the duos’ show didn’t go down well with many was evident from the disgusted look on the faces of guests who were seen cursing themselves for landing up for the alleged conference. Some others, however, found solace in the delicious spread served up hot and spicy! “ (
Note: NVS Reddy is the MD of HMR and V.B. Gadgil CEO and MD of L&T Metro Rail.)

No wonder, one reporter was probably so much impressed with the drinks and dinner that he likened the metro pillars with “beautiful girls playing under the moonlight” in a Telugu daily. Now the L&T is making promotional films to project an image for the metro. It is inviting students, executives, senior citizens, housewives, and others to become Brand Ambassadors for Hyderabad Metro Rail. It is ‘your chance to become a celebrity’, says half-page advts in the local news papers in early January.

It may be noted that the Hyd metro construction is going on in full swing in two stretches of 8km and 12km where the roads are already very wide. The citizens will start experiencing the traffic nightmares when the construction enters beyond these stretches and when hundreds of shops will have to be demolished. That will take some more time before which the authorities are trying to create and promote graphically designed images for the metro.
Probably, more comical shows may follow!
- Dr. C. Ramachandraiah