Hyderabad: A letter from Larsen and Toubro, the developers of the Hyderabad Metro Rail, to the Telangana state government, offering to walk away from the Rs 17,000-crore project, has created a storm.
The letter, written on September 10, expressed serious concerns over the delay in executing the project due to pending and contentious issues and stated that the company would be forced to walk out of the project if the issues were not sorted out soon, especially with regard to giving “right of way”.
It also raised questions about the future of Hyderabad and the financial viability of the project post bifurcation of the state. With the letter being leaked to the media, both TS government and L&T started a damage-control exercise on Wednesday.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and chief secretary Dr Rajiv Sharma summoned L&T MD V.B. Gadgil and HMR MD N.V.S. Reddy, to the Secretariat on Wednesday to resolve the matter.
Mr Gadgil later told the media that the company was committed to complete the project as scheduled and termed the letter as a “routine correspondence” which had started in February 2014, when Andhra Pradesh was not divided.
Surprisingly, he released the letter written to then CM, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy, in February 2014, to the media, but did not divulge the contents of the latest letter.
When asked what prompted the company to offer to quit the project, Mr Gadgil said, “That is one solution we have given them in case both of us are not able to resolve the issues. These are contractual letters written by one party to the other. Both the parties have the right to reply and get the issues resolved.”
The project had hit a roadblock after Mr Rao took over as CM in June and announced that the government would not allow the Metro near the Legislative Assembly, Mozam Jahi market and Sultan Bazaar, and sought realignment along these stretches.
However, Mr Gadgil reiterated that they had not received any official communication from the government about the realignment so far except to stop works in these areas.
Terming the media reports as a deliberate attempt to show the project in poor light, a statement from the CM’s Office said, “These select newspapers have chosen to publish the latest correspondence mischievously and in isolation.”
“The project continues to be viable as of now. Viability has to be checked every now and then in a long-term project,” Mr Gadgil added....
Tags: larsen and toubro