Old City Metro Rail fails to gain traction

    Hyderabad: After an uproar over the expansion of Hyderabad Metro Rail with 63-km under the second phase, the long-pending Metro Rail phase in Old city promised in the current Financial Year budget has now fizzled out. People from the Old city, who hoped that the Metro Rail would take them to their destinations faster, are disappointed as they see no ray of hope for Metro in the Old City.

    Minister K T Rama Rao announced the expansion of Metro Rail with 63-km and informed that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao will lay the foundation of 31-km long Airport Express Metro Corridor from Mindspace junction to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad on December 9. However, the long pending stretch of 5.5 km from Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) metro station to Falaknuma under Old City corridor remains in limbo.

    The residents of Old City say that metro provides last-mile connectivity but does not connect the parts of the city with larger population density. They opined that Metro Rail will give huge respite to those who travel faraway places every day. “Old City needs to grow, and the government must look into this issue seriously. Travelling in metro only seems to be a dream for us,” said Murtuza Mohsin, a resident of Hussaini Alam.

    AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday took to twitter and said, “Minister KT Rama Rao please also start the work of MGBS, Imlibun to Falaknuma of Corridor-II of 5.5 km. Rs 500 crore was also allocated for this purpose by the government in this year’s budget. This work is very vital and important as many youngsters travel to Hi-Tec city to work.”

    The Old City Metro Joint Action Committee said that the western region of the Old city is completely cut off and residents are waiting for the state government’s promise for a Metro stretch to be fulfilled. “The people in Old city will get Metro only if their constituency MLAs wish the Metro to run in Old city. The project would be taken up within a month if the AIMIM followed the project,” said E T Narsimha, convenor, Old City Metro JAC.

    He also pointed out that Corridor-II was the 5.5 km stretch, but the Raidurg was taken up and completed too, and from there, it is being expanded till Shamshabad with 31-km long. But the 5.5 km plan disappeared.”

    Prashant Reddy, an IT employee, a resident of the Old city said that earlier, the people of Old city were unaware of major developments, when compared with the other areas in the city. The areas in purana sheher are still a decade old. Now there should be a Metro corridor as earliest. “People have been listening that Metro will soon come up in Old City for the last 5-6 years, but it seems it was just a political gimmick,” he added.

    “I once travelled in the metro from Malakpet to Khairtabad and it was a great as I did not have to face traffic jams and could save my time. I am eagerly waiting for the metro train to start services from the Old City,” said Mohammed Imran, a resident of Moghalpura.

    K Venkatesh, a Congress and Metro JAC member, said that they would push the government and officials to take up the Metro Rail project in Old City and alleged that the State government is ignoring the Old City. “Whenever elections are round the corner, some engineers appear to carry out surveys as if they are certainly going to begin the Metro Rail works here but disappear soon after the elections are over. During 2018 assembly elections and recent Municipal elections, they held inspections and till now no further steps were taken,” he added.

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