HYDERABAD: In spite of the completion of electrification between the Medchal-Secunderabad route, the planned MMTS train service is yet to see the light of the day. If the Railways and the State government overcome their financial issues, over 1.5 lakh commuters per day can avail of these services. “Despite being sanctioned years ago, MMTS Phase II is yet to start its services. Being economical, it would have helped students and other commuters easily get connected to the city from the suburbs,” said B Akash Kumar, LLB graduate, OU.
This joint project of TS and Railways is on a cost-sharing basis. According to the latest official data available with the Railways, it has already spent `580 crore (more than 2/3rd of its share of total cost), but the State owes it about `450 crore towards its share of the project.
“Even the SCR’s higher-ups are avoiding to talk to the governement about this, so as not to invite any trouble,” said an official on condition of anonymity. Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), the nodal railway agency has completed work in the 14.95 km Secunderabad-Bolarum section with the Commissioner of Rail Safety (CRS) clearing the lines, including speed tests and also permitting commissioning for commercial operations. Phase-II work which is in progress includes 19 km of the Sanath Nagar-Moula Ali section. “Only `40 crore was allotted in the recent Union Budget forthis project, and we need the support of the State’s share of pending funds,”said UFERWAS general secretary BT Srinivasan.
MMTS services reduced
Post the second lockdown, only half of the MMTS trains are in service. From 130 (pre-Covid), now only 65 trains are engaged. Experts are of the opinion that delays caused on the project will reduce patronage, as commuters are shifting to other means of transport