HYDERABAD: With reports emanating that the Telangana government is likely to permit the elevated Hyderabad metro rail to pass through the congested Sultan Bazar, the Sultan Bazar Trade Association has accused HMR managing director NVS Reddy of misleading the government and appealed to chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao not to go back form his promise of realignment of the metro rail route so as not to disturb the commercial area.
Addressing reporters here on Thursday, association convener D Shankar said, “Metro is one of the best things happening to Hyderabad but it should not interfere with our heritage. Sultan Bazar is 200 years old and generations of traders are doing their business there. Lakhs of families are dependent on it.
KCR has time and again given his word that the alignment of metro rail will be changed. But now we can see that Reddy is doing things at his will and is misleading the government.
“For the past week or so, during the night time, survey work has been going on on the Sultan Bazar stretch. We want the chief minister to look into this matter and make sure that the work stops immediately. As proposed, the metro rail should be diverted on some other route.”
During the Telangana agitation, KCR had assured the traders and others concerned that if his government came to power, he would make sure that the alignment of metro rail will be changed in a way that it won’t affect Sultan Bazar.
“Sultan Bazar is like a mini-India where we can find people from all regions. This is the place one can find clothes at very nominal prices and even ministers shop in the area. Allowing metro rail will be a great loss to everyone,” said C Madhusudan Rao, general secretary of the association.
“Even people from other states come here for shopping. It’s like an identity to Hyderabad. If a commercial centre like this is destroyed for any reason, we can never create another one,” said said Harish Gaini, vice-president of the association.
The association’s vice president further added that any plan to destroy Sultan Bazar will lead to massive protests which the government can easily avoid by changing the alignment.
The original and Alternative Routes
Sultan Bazar lies on Corridor-II that runs from Jubilee Bus Station to Falaknuma. To avoid the metro rail pass through the busy commercial centre, it was proposed to divert the route via Tilak Park, Koti Women’s College (also a heritage building) and Osmania Medical College, which will also reduce the distance by 0.7 km. But, instead of selecting this route, metro rail officials are said to be planning to go ahead with the originally planned route that goes via Sultan Bazar.