While speaking on the sidelines of an event here today, Reddy said the new 11-km stretch between Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) and Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) is ready and is most likely to be thrown open to the public before the end of January 2020.
Speaking to reporters here, Reddy also said that the Hyderabad Metro has broken-even operationally and that it would take 7-8 years for them to break-even financially. He rubbished the claims that Hyderabad Metro project is a “real-estate project”, and said that 269 acres were sought for the project when it was a government project and this had not changed when the project became a public-private partnership. “The concessionaire was allowed to take up construction on 18.5 million sq ft as per the agreement. Of this, 6 million sq ft works are being taken up and 1.3 million sq ft works are over. There are four metro malls as of today,” he said.
Answering a query regarding the heavy rush on metro trains, he said around 4 lakh passengers are commuting every day by the metro rail and that the recent TSRTC bus strike, that lasted nearly two months, had increased the footfall by 50,000 to 70,000. “After the strike was called off, many have gone back to RTC buses. Overall 40,000 to 50,000
additional passengers are traveling by metro every day, especially after new station, Raidurgam, was inaugurated recently,” said Reddy, adding that the actual footfall figures could be arrived at after watching the situation for a few weeks.
He, however, denied any immediate plans to increase the number of cars per train from present three to six. This has been a demand among the public, owing to the heavy rush in trains. “Losses will increase if (the number of cars are increased). Trains are overcrowded only during a particular time period. We have increased the speed and frequency of trains to 3 minutes during peak hours,” said the MD, adding that the number of cars will be increased only at a later stage. He also reminded all that feeder services have been put in place at each station and that overall parking slots for 4,000 two-wheelers and 500 four-wheelers are available at all stations put together.
Regarding the ambitious elevated bus rapid transit system (BTRS) from Kukatpally Housing Board (KPHB) to Financial District covering the entire IT corridor, Reddy maintained that a detailed project report is being prepared and will be submitted to the state government soon. “As building a metro rail is expensive, BRTS is the right alternative,” he said.
According to him, 14 lakh smart cards/metro cards have been sold till date and around 2.2 lakh passengers, which is about 60 per cent of the ridership, is using smart cards for their commute.