Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Malls & Multiplexes of L&T Metro Rail

CR’s comment: Only three malls now. More to follow. We have been saying this before. It’s like building irrigation canals even before the dam work begins (eg. Polavaram under YSR regime in AP). The very definition of Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) is “Rail and Real Estate” as per the Concession Agreement. Already the govt of AP has allocated nearly 70 acres more of land that what is promised in the Agreement. What more you need?

Panjagutta is already a congested junction by all means. It is also a heavy pedestrian area but there are no footpaths. Now the L&T malls will further choke this area. Where is the transport planning here? It’s all real estate, my dear friends! Metro rail is only a mask. Pursuing this kind of development model led by contractors and companies (thru our political parties – with no difference in Regions and Ideologies) is what has pushed Andhra Pradesh into the present crisis (on division, unified AP).

L&T plans 3 malls-cum-multiplexes along metro rail corridors in city
Koride Mahesh| TOI, 28 Aug 2013, Hyderabad.
Times view: The Khairatabad to Ameerpet Road is already chock-a-block with multiplexes and shopping malls and adding more new ones will only add to the chaotic scenes prevailing in the streets. Plans to construct malls and multiplexes in the areas mentioned are also illogical, as there are several screens within a few kilometres, especially in Punjagutta. Instead of spending crores of rupees on multiplexes, authorities should invest more on traffic management by building flyovers and sidewalks for pedestrians. 
Hyderabad: Even before the metro rail tracks are put in place, project developer Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has started moves to commercially exploit parcels of land allotted to it along the three metro corridors. The project developer has proposed to construct malls with multiplexes at Punjagutta, Erramanzil and Madhapur. The L&T has applied for provisional no objection certificate (NOC) from the state disaster response and fire services department recently. Once the NOCs are obtained, the construction giant might seek building permission from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
Official sources said a mall, including a multiplex and office space, is being planned on 70,127 square metres land, where government quarters were demolished near Srinagar junction on the arterial Punjagutta-Ameerpet road. The land was handed over to the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) last year. At Punjagutta, the mall and multiplex would come up in one block, which would have three basements, ground and five upper floors.
L&T plans to build hotels, malls 
Hyderabad: Eight screens will come up on fourth and fifth floors. An office block is being planned in an area of 5,621 sq metres with three basements, ground and six upper floors. Another multiplex has been proposed at Erramanzil, near NIMS, where government quarters were razed for the metro rail project. L&T proposes to put up a mall, including a six-screen multiplex, and another multiplex and commercial building would come up opposite My Home Hub at Madhapur. “We have inspected the sites on the request of L&T metro rail and recommended provisional NOCs for malls,” regional fire officer P Venkata Ramana told TOI.
    As per the concessionaire agreement, the metro project developer could exploit space up to 18.5 million square feet (sft). Nearly, 12.5 million sft would be required for metro rail depots and terminal locations, while six million sft would be available for metro rail stations. HMR has agreed to transfer 269 acres land to the metro rail developer for executing the project. Of the total land, nearly 70% of the space was allocated to the three depots and 57 acres of land at 66 metro stations (air space) would be utilized for commercial exploitation.
    L&T, which is eyeing transit oriented development along the metro corridors, is likely to come up similar proposals for office spaces, malls and multiplexes apart from hotels, service apartments, healthcare facilities like hospitals, poly clinics, convention centres, theme parks, entertainment zones and convenience retail at suitable places.
    Meanwhile, both the fire services department and L&T have not yet finalized fire safety plan at metro stations. The fire department has offered to depute its senior officials for overseeing fire safety measures at stations, but L&T wants to have its own trained personnel. “In Delhi Metro, fire officials were deputed to train staff and ensure safety at all metro stations, but L&T wants to have its own set up,” a senior official of the fire services department said.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hyderabad Metro will be doomed after AP's division

Hyderabad metro will be doomed after the state's division. Because, it is designed on false projections and lies. It is aimed at giving more lands to the private party for real estate development. It is premised on extracting more and more concessions  from the state govt. It will become a huge millstone (gudibanda in Telugu) around the neck of the new T state. I will post a more elaborate write-up later. Now the news item in TOI.- CR

Division of Andhra may hit ridership on metro rail
HYDERABAD: Will there be any impact on metro rail ridership if the state is bifurcated? The answer is yes. Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) officials fear it might impact the projected ridership for the metro rail, which in turn might hit its fare box collection. Apart from this, the impact is also likely to hit transit-oriented development and advertising revenue of L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad). When the metro rail was designed a few years ago, the officials estimated ridership could be 15 lakh per day by 2015 and might touch 22 lakh per day by 2025. The officials arrived at the figure by taking volume of traffic, population and number of vehicles and their growth per year into consideration. Bidders had also taken these figures into consideration while quoting their bid amount for bagging the contract during the bidding process.

However, analysts claim the projected figure might change if the state is divided as growth of the city, floating population, vehicular traffic and other figures might not be relevant as development might slow down. "Several traffic studies of Hyderabad reveal that every year two lakh personal vehicles were being added to the roads in the city. The total motorized trips are 35 lakh per day, including 61% two-wheelers, 21% autos, 15% cars and 3% buses. Now, new vehicles and passenger trips will be less in the separate state," an official of the municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) department said.

Infrastructure giant L&T had bagged the metro rail project in 2010 with an approved cost of Rs 14,132 crore. The rail project is being implemented on three corridors - Miyapur-LB Nagar, Jubilee Bus Station-Falaknuma and Nagole-Shilparamam - covering a distance of 72 kms. The first two stretches might be ready by December 2014 and commercial operations are likely to begin in June 2015. The entire 72-km stretch is expected to be completed by July 2016. The concession period for the project is 35 years, which includes five-year construction period, and could be extended by another 25 years.

Interestingly, the
 DMRC had prepared a detailed project report for the metro rail project eight years ago and estimated the traffic to be around 40,000 passengers per hour in peak direction (PPHPD). However, the HMRL officials revised it to 60,000 PPHPD as there was growth of traffic in the city. Initially, the metro train would have three-car trains carrying 1,000 passengers each and later it would be six-car trains for 6,000 passengers. The HMR has already announced frequency of the trains to be 3 to 5 minutes during peak hours keeping in view of the likely ridership.

"The L&T can ask the state government to increase passenger fare (freezed minimum fare of Rs 8) or seek more concession period to reach their estimated revenues," another official said.W hen contacted for comments on the likely impact, Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) managing director NVS Reddy refused to comment on the issue.