Bifurcation of Telangana-Andhra may impact Hyderabad Metro Project

Hyderabad: The proposed bifurcation of the state has cast a shadow on the ‘realty plans’ of the Hyderabad Metro Rail project. Hyderabad Metro has been designed as a ‘unique model’ wherein only 55 per cent of the revenue is supposed to come from passengers, and the remaining 45 per cent from property development and commercial activities such as parking charges, advertisements etc.

Only some international Metros such as the ones in Singapore and Hong Kong have adopting this model. The model was conceptualised for the Hyderabad Metro after studying major Metros across the globe wherein it was found that Metro projects are not financially viable if they depend  only on passenger fares for revenue generation.

Accordingly, HMR officials have devised plans to develop 18.5 million square feet along the 72-km Metro corridors in the next five years with an investment of over Rs.2,200 crore. Shopping malls, multiplexes, office space and retail chains are being planned to make the HMR financially viable.
However, the latest developments over Telangana have become a cause of concern for officials who fear that the realty sector in the city would be hit if a new capital is formed for Seemandhra region within 10 years as announced by the UPA government and that Hyderabad would not have the capacity to absorb the massive realty development to be undertaken for the Metro project during this period.

Project developer L&T has decided to develop six million square feet in the first phase and the HMR is scheduled to commence commercial operations between Nagole and Mettuguda by April 2015. The entire 72-km project has to be completed by July 2017 as per the agreement between state government and L&T.

Officials are, however, adopting a cautious approach towards realty development now. They are conducting surveys with various consultancies to ascertain the impact of bifurcation on realty development along the three Metro corridors.

Based on the findings of the surveys, officials are planning to make certain amendments to the realty plans, though they are confident that things will improve in the city in the long run.