HYDERABAD: In terms of retail space available for setting up shops, L&T Metro officials said that 70 per cent of the space has been booked so far. People who use the Metro to commute want shops that cater to their needs and are within their budget.
“It would be nice if there are shops where one could buy vegetables and households items,” said Prasad K, a state government employee who was out with his family for a Metro joy ride. “It could be useful for commuters to buy from the Metro station after coming from work and then go home,” he added.
The 64 stations are divided into three categories - 55 typical stations, 3 interchange stations (Ameerpet, MGBS and Parade Grounds) and 4 special stations (Hi-Tech City, Punjagutta, Shilparamam/Raidurgam and Begumpet). L&T Metro hopes to offer commuters with retail options ranging from grocery, vegetables and accessory stores.
There will also be restaurants and food courts. Services at the stations will be in terms of laundry centres, medical stores and ATM kiosks. Apart from retail stores at entry and exit points of stations, the interchange and special stations will have retail spaces ranging from 10,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet that will house electronic and entertainment stores.
“The tickets are very costly and only those who can afford will travel in the Metro. So the kind of shops opening at the stations will be meant for people who can spend. They have spent a lot for the metro project, so surely the rental costs will be high. The shop owner will pass on the cost to the customer. So I don’t think a common man can afford to buy day-to-day items from here,” said Gireesh G, a French teacher with a private school in Hyderabad, who was using the Metro for the second time after his bike broke down.”Metro costs me `120 a day. That’s my bike fuel’s cost for three days,” he added.
“They will mostly open fast food joints and clothing stores but people use the Metro for a quick commute. I don’t think people will use the Metro to roam around. Also, there are no seats at any of the stations for commuters. So if these stations have shopping malls, where will the shoppers sit?” asked Meghna M, a chemical engineering student from IIT, Hyderabad.