HYDERABAD: For around 17 years, the Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) has been a cheap and comforting mode of public transport in the twin cities. However, with services being suspended for more than a year, passengers are facing severe inconvenience.MMTS services were suspended on March 22, 2020. Though the Hyderabad Metro Rail and RTC services were resumed after the lockdown was lifted last year, MMTS services were not resumed at all. Over 1.5 lakh passengers used to depend on the suburban rail and have been left to avail private vehicles, cabs and buses.
Before Covid-19, the SCR used to operate 121 services from around 25 local stations. Among the stations, Lingampally, Kacheguda, Secunderabad, Malakpet and Faluknama were major stops with heavy passenger rush.“I used to frequently travel to Lingampally from Malakpet to visit my relatives. However, as there is no MMTS, I am now taking a bus and cab, which is costly,” said Kamal Tej.
Senior railway officials stated that the Centre has not yet given permission to resume MMTS services. “We cannot expect the MMTS to resume anytime soon due to the second wave. We are maintaining MMTS rakes well in an EMU car shed in Moula Ali,” said an official.
As part of maintenance, officials are checking wheel alignment and functioning of the engine, battery, brakes and other motors so that they can be ready to move at a moment’s notice. “We are maintaining all the 12 MMTS rakes regularly. All the rakes are fit and well-maintained to resume services at any moment,” said an officialTo expand suburban services, the MMTS Phase II project has been proposed for a distance of 84 km on various stretches including Secunderabad-Moula Ali-Ghatkesar, Tellapur-Ramchandrapuram, Secunderabad-Bolarum- Medchal,and Moula Ali-Sanathnagar.
The cost of the project is around `840 crore — `560 crore by the State government and `280 crore by the Railways. However, the State has released only `130 crore for the same. To avoid any delay in the project, the Railways has alone spent `530 crore so far, which is almost two times its share.