HMRL’s overreach upsets L&T Hyd Metro

Hyderabad: Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) on Friday claimed that engineering designs and drawings have been cleared by internationally reputed agencies. However, a resent RTI reply said designing of the stations along the corridor-II and at many places on the other two corridors has not been finalized.

Following a site visit to the Metro rail project done by a team of technical experts, NVS Reddy, managing director of HMRL, state in a press conference that the engineering designs have been completed and they were of world class. “Detailed designs, engineering drawings, design basis reports (DBR) have been prepared by a world renowned metro rail consultancy organization AECOM and checked by an independent consultant Louis Berger,” said NVS Reddy.

But, in a reply under Right to Information Act, given on May 22 2013, the HMRL said the station design in the route of Corridor-II is under finalization. The reply also said design of stations to be coming up at Begumpet, and in the stretch between Ameerpet and Maithrivanam was not yet finalized.

While the contradiction is among the reasons creating a rift between the HMRL and the project concessionaire l&T, the constructions company is said to have taken up the issue with the municipal administration department. And the government sources said the L&T officials had even complained the HMRL managing director NVS Reddy of overstepping to hinder the execution of the project.

“The L&T is upset over certain issues including HMRL overreaching and taking unilateral decisions. While the work is under progress, L&T is complaining that the HMRL officials going public on the status of the project without taking it into confidence,” said an official in the municipal administration department.

While the HMRL MD had taken the media on site visit on last Sunday, he led the team of experts to inspect the project site on Friday. And on the occasions, l&T’s representation had been ignored, and in the press conference held on Friday there was no one from L&T to reply the queries of the reporters.

The municipal administration official said the L&T was worried about wrong information being given to the media without taking the ground reality into consideration. For instance, talking about the system to supply power to the metro train, the HMRL maintained that the overhead cable was preferred to a modern third rail system to save the project cost. Whereas the L&T has a different take as it had said the third rail system had been done away due to safety issue and non-availability of trained engineers to handle it.

On contacting, B Sam Bob, principal secretary municipal administration, said, “There are certain issues to be addressed. But, they are internal and not to share with the media.”

L&T chief executive VB Gadgil did not respond to telephone calls.