A month after launch, Metro Rail shows promise, but still has a long way to go

While the price of Smart Cards has come down, the low frequency of trains is turning away commuters

Published: 28th December 2017 03:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th December 2017 08:00 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:A month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Hyderabad Metro Rail, it has been a mix of hits and misses for the world’s largest metro rail project under PPP mode.From charging for usage of toilets at Metro stations to the varying frequency of Metro cars operating between the Miyapur-Nagole stretch that demanded bouncers to manage the crowd, many commuters feel that the ‘craze’ has come down.

The first few days after the launch, an average of 1.5 lakh denizens boarded the Metro and on few instances, L&T MRHL recorded more than 2 lakh commuters, mostly during the weekends, which eventually settled.“The initial days had a huge turnover and it was chaotic but now it has all fallen down. The average number taking the ride per car could be around 300,” said Chiranjeevi Rao, a CA who makes frequent trips between Rasoolopura and Uppal station by avoiding his car.But many, unlike him, could not make the switch as is evident through the reduced capacity of parking utilised by denizens.

The proposed parking complexes which are to be built are being temporarily used for parking. “There are about 60 people who park their two-wheelers and about 5 cars are park here,” said a security guard at Rasoolpura Metro parking area. The number is no different at other Metro stations except the two depots: Miyapur and Nagole, where an average 400 two-wheelers and about 30 cars are parked.

Smart Cards now being sold at Rs 150
The classic variant of the Nebula smart card is being sold at a reduced price as compared to its launch price of `200. “We have reduced the refundable deposit amount from `80 to `30. This, we hope will make many people switch to the card payment mode instead of the token system,” said a staff of L&T MRHL.

Train frequency at 4 per hour irks passengers
The uneven frequency of the Metro Rail cars between a round trip from Miyapur to Ameerpet and Nagole to Ameerpet continues to test the patience of the regular commuters. The fifteen-minute cap until a unit of Metro arrives at any of the platforms between Ameerpet and Nagole stretch makes the total number of frequency to four an hour. L&T MRHL officials, however, say that as operations are streamlined, the gaps would soon be covered.

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