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Within 3 months of launch, footfall comes down at Metro stations

In the first in a two-part series on how the Metro is faring, Express finds HMRL has cut back on staff while trying to entice more customers.

Published: 25th February 2018 03:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th February 2018 03:53 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Even during evening peak hours, one can manage to find a seat on the Hyderabad Metro. The week after the Hyderabad Metro for the Nagole-Ameerpet-Miyapur route opened on November 28, 2017, passenger footfall touched 1.5 lakh per day on weekdays and crossed 2 lakh on weekends. By January first week, these figures—by HMRLs own admission - dropped down to 80,000. Officials then said it could take a few months for the footfalls to stabilise. A month later, HMRLs enthusiasm in reporting footfall numbers waned after reports started pouring in that the numbers had dropped to 60,000 on weekdays. HMRL spokesperson said, “The footfall figures are still above 1 lakh on weekdays, all other footfall numbers being reported are incorrect.”

So what exactly is the metro footfall after three months of operation? Sayed, a “may I help you” staff at the Ameerpet Metro station, says with a bored look, “There used to be 80 of us at this station for crowd management but now there are only 15 of us to manage this station. The rush has come down so they are throwing people out.”

In February, 100 youths working with the Hyderabad metro were terminated from service without notice. They were taken back to service 48 hours later after they protested at the Miyapur metro station. They were also given job assurances at metro corridors that are yet to open.  “A lot of people were let go before these 100 people protested,” added Sayed.

If the stations bear a deserted look, so does the parking spaces now available at 14 stations. The space at present is used mostly by people working close by.The GHMC on Tuesday decided to build 12 multi-level car parking facility at various locations close to the Hyderabad Metro, to help divert more public to the metro. Bid for car parking tenders at Nampally metro station is expected to start in a week’s time.

On Thursday, the Nampally Taxi stand at the Nampally railway station was vacated by a team of HMRL officials with the help of city police to make room for one of the multi-level car parking facility. It must be noted that GHMC had invited tenders for multi-level car parking at various locations in the city in 2016 and 2017 but failed to find any takers.
(To be concluded)



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