HYDERABAD: In a boost for public transport in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, the South Central Railway (SCR) zone is set to start 40 new services of the Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) to operate in new routes.
According to sources, new MMTS trains will be put into service on the Secunderabad - Medchal route via Bollaram and on the Faluknama - Umdanagar route under MMTS Phase-II. These are expected to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 8.
Once the Secunderabad - Medchal section is opened for passengers, over 1.5 lakh commuters per day can avail of these services. Due to the unavailability of MMTS services, passengers were having to depend on buses, auto-rickshaws and private vehicles daily.
Hyd MMTS: Works underway in two sections
The Centre has allocated Rs 600 crore for MMTS Phase-II works in the Union Budget. The project was sanctioned in 2012-13 at an estimated cost of Rs 817 crore. Currently, the works are underway in two more sections — Sanath Nagar to Moula Ali doubling with electrification and Moula Ali - Malkajgiri - Sitafalmandi doubling with electrification. Now, the cost of the MMTS Phase-II project has been revised to over Rs 1,100 crore.
As of now, 86 services are being operated to meet the suburban travel needs of the twin cities daily. MMTS services cover a stretch of 50 km from Falaknuma to Ramachandrapuram via Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Begumpet, Lingampally and Tellapur, among others. There is also a demand for the extension of MMTS services to Shankarpalli.
Demand for extension
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Konda Vishweshwar Reddy has written a letter to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to consider the extension of MMTS trains upto Shankarpalli and subsequently to Vikarabad. “Thousands of people including employees in the public and private sector, students, labourers and farmers travel from Vikarabad to Hyderabad via Shankarpalli and back daily,” he said.