HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday announced that the Hyderabad Metro Rail alignment will be changed soon to protect heritage structures in the city.
Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s Address in the State Assembly, KCR said he was determined to implement his earlier demands on metro rail. “I have already instructed the metro rail officials to change the alignment,” he informed the House. Elaborating on how he wants it changed, he pointed at underground routes in some cities.
“We are planning to have an underground route near the Assembly to protect heritage buildings. I will not allow the destruction of Sultan Bazar at any cost. I will not allow metro rail in Sultan Bazar. The alignment will be changed,” the Chief Minister asserted.
When contacted, officials of the Hyderabad Metro Rail told Express on condition of anonymity there was a need for fresh proposals since the State government is determined to change the alignment. The government move would mean delay in completion of the metro rail project at least by a few months.
If the alignment is changed, land acquisition process has to commence afresh which is time consuming and may face stiff opposition from land owners. The affected parties may move the High Court if the alignment is changed at Badi Chowdi and Sultan Bazar. And, underground metro rail is going to be a costly affair too, officials said, adding it would be double than the expenditure being incurred on the elevated system. They also argued that most of the developed countries have only elevated metro rail.
In his speech, KCR also said he would soon hold a meeting with officials to resolve the perennial drainage problem in the city. “There are no good master plans for the city. That is why the drainage problems are cropping up. We will come up with a master plan to make Hyderabad a world-class city,” he said. He reiterated his government would make Hyderabad a slum-free city. “For this, the government will borrow a loan of Rs 5,000-10,000 crore from Hudco. Flats will also be constructed for weaker sections in the city,” he promised.
Land acquisition to be a problem
Officials of the Hyderabad Metro Rail told Express on condition of anonymity there was a need for fresh proposals since the government is determined to change alignment. The government move would mean delay in completion of the metro rail project by a few more months, at least. If the alignment is changed, land acquisition process has to commence afresh.