Ready to quit Hyderabad metro rail project if issues not resolved: L&T

‘These select newspapers have chosen to publish latest correspondence mischievously’

Hyderabad: L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Ltd, the developer of the 72-km elevated metro rail here, said it has written a letter to the Telangana government and offered to walk out of the Rs 16,000 crore-plus project as a last resort if issues concerning it are not sorted out.

However, the infrastructure major also insisted that it was keen to complete the ambitious project, saying that exchange of such letters is a "common practice" between any two parties.

When asked if L&T offers to hand over the project to the government, its chief executive and managing director V B Gadgil said, "In case the issues do not get settled."

He was speaking to reporters after a meeting with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and chief secretary Rajiv Sharma at the secretariat.

"That (to quit) is one solution we have told them in case both of us are not able to resolve," he said but later added, "But that is only a gesture. Now there is a contact also."

Gadgil further said that writing such letters has been a common practice.

"All such letters are very common between parties. These are contractual letters written by one party to the other party. Both the parties have right to reply and get the issues resolved. There are number of possible ways to resolve issues in any contract," Gadgil said.

The prestigious Metrorail project hit a roadblock due to a host of issues such as realignment to avoid the Assembly Building and Sultan Bazar and the right of way in some areas.

"I reiterate my stand that we have no official communication of realignment except for stopping of work at some parts. Beyond that we are not sure...," Gadgil said.

The chief minister earlier in the day held multiple meetings with senior officials after a section of press reported that L&T offered to quit the project over a number of reasons.

Terming the media reports as a deliberate attempt to show the project in a poor light, a statement from the CM's Office said the correspondence between the L&T and the government is a routine thing.

"These select newspapers have chosen to publish the latest correspondence mischievously and in isolation," the statement said.

Gadgil further said that the company has been writing letters to the government highlighting some of the issues that have become stumbling blocks for the project since February.

"Project continues to be viable as of now. Viability has to be checked every now and then in a long run project," he added.

Referring to media reports, Gadgil said the newspapers have taken only certain portion of their recent letter and combined it with the previous ones.

Gadgil had earlier said that the company has so far pumped in Rs 4,800 crore, completing 28 per cent of the total project.

On account of delays from various quarters, the project is likely to see a cost escalation of between Rs 2,500 crore to Rs 3,000 crore, he had said.

Senior officials of the Telangana government, including chief secretary Rajiv Sarma, will be going to Delhi to discuss with officials to take the project forward and to take up the 2nd phase of Metro Rail project, according to the statement.

L&T Hyderabad Metro Rail Pvt Ltd is an L&T subsidiary, which is developing the metro with an investment of Rs 14,132 crore. The total cost is Rs 16,375 crore (Rs 14,132 crore for

the metro rail system and another Rs 2,243 crore for the real estate development).

( Source : PTI )
Next Story