The Hyderabad Metro gets more expensive

Increasing traffic density in Hyderabad has forced the government to revise the Metro Rail project cost from Rs 9,696 crore to Rs 11,814 crore. Ironically, even before the foundation stone for the Metro Rail is laid, the project, technically still on paper, has been revised for the fourth time by the Centre and Planning Commission.Sources said the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) officials had proposed 219 coaches for metro trains on all three routes — LB Nagar to Miyapur, JBS to Falaknuma and Nagole to Shilparamam — based on traffic projections for 2008. Since the traffic flow scene has changed drastically in the last five years, the Centre has decided to take traffic projections till 2013, by when the metro rail project is expected to be completed, and increase the number of coaches in the trains.Though traffic experts have recommended 372 coaches for all the three corridors, the central government has sanctioned 327 coaches.More number of coaches can avoid overcrowding during the peak hours. Bidders too have also asked the government to increase the project cost as several conditions were put in the concessionere agreement by the Hyderabad Metro Rail. The conditions are there should be one square metre space (approximately 10 sft) for six passengers in the coaches and they should not allow more passengers. They have to provide 110 per cent capacity in coaches. For example, if they allow 100 people, the coach space should be for 110 passengers.The other conditions are there should be a train every three minutes on the L B Nagar-Miyapur and Nagole-Shilparamam corridors. The train should carry 50,000 passengers in each direction. And every five minutes, a train on the JBS-Falaknuma corridor. The officials expect that nearly 16 lakh people would travel daily in the metro trains after its operations begin.Meanwhile, the HMR has postponed opening of financial bids due to revision of project cost.The project cost has been revised for the fourth time by the Union government. When the detailed project reports were prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in 2003, the project cost was Rs 6,746 for two corridors — Chaitanyapuri to Miyapur and Secunderabad to Falaknuma.Later, it was decided to add another corridor from Habsiguda to Hi-Tec City. The project cost was revised to Rs 8,482 crore. A few months ago, the corridors were extended to 77 km from 67 km. The metro corridor was extended up to Nagole from Habsiguda and Shilparmam from Hi-Tec City. As a result of this, the cost has increased to Rs 9,696 crore. Latest, the Centre has decided to increase the project cost to Rs 11,814 crore at a meeting of officials of the ministry of urban development, Planning Commission and ministry of finance held in Delhi on July 16.

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