GMR throws weight behind Metro link to airport

The GMR group, which built and currently maintains the international airport at Shamshabad, seems to have successfully lobbied for a metro rail link to the airport. The Centre had sought a preliminary report from the State government on linking the airport with the elevated metro rail similar to the project being built across the three dense corridors in the twin cities and the report has already been sent to New Delhi, senior officials in the know of things revealed.

Initial details indicate that the infrastructure giant is keen on getting one metro line to be taken to the airport from Falaknuma, a distance of approximately 15 km. And another metro line is to be built from Raidurg to Shamshabad via Gachibowli and the Outer Ring Road, a distance of about 23 km.  Ongoing metro rail construction by the concessionaire L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH) is on three corridors – L.B. Nagar to Miyapur, Jubilee Bus Station to Falaknuma and Nagole to Raidurg.

Technical and financial feasibility as well a detailed project report on these routes are yet to be worked out. The progress on this work front will depend on the Centre’s response from here on and could take up to two years, senior officials, requesting anonymity, averred.

The GMR group had earlier rejected a proposal to get the airport linked with the on ground rail through the MMTS phase-two project jointly being taken up by the government and the railways.

Even the railways, perhaps sensing the way things were going, had removed the proposed Umdanagar railway station (on the Falaknuma route) – airport rail link work from the pre-qualification tenders floated by the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) for taking up MMTS phase-two works recently.

Distance between Umdanagar and the airport is six-and-a-half kilometre. The railways had estimated it to cost about Rs. 30 crore two years ago and also sought 37 acres of government land allotted to GMR in the vicinity. “We had proposed the on ground rail link with the airport only after the GMR group had approached us, but they want a metro line now,” said senior officials.