DC debate: Roadblocks to completion to the Metro project

DC discusses factors that may be detrimental to the completion of the Metro project

Development blocked by vested interests

Revanth Reddy
MLA, Telugu Desam

The track record of the TRS government in the Telangana state, during its first 100 days, has proved to be a damp squib. All the vices — family-dominated politics, subjugation of ministers in the Cabinet, crony capitalism and above all jettisoning the growth for short-term benefits — have gripped the ruling party. It is an irony that two-digit growth is being registered in Bihar, but there is not even the slightest trace of a similar atmosphere in Telangana.

Hyderabad has always stood for its rich and composite Ganga-Jamuna culture and the British-nurtured cosmopolitan culture of Secu-nderabad is well known. Cyberabad, as a triplet to the existing twin cities, was nurtured by Chandrababu Naidu making it a home for software professionals. It had the capacity of acting as an economic power house to cater to the economic needs of the other districts in the state.

The recent spat between L&T and the state government, and the reported offer of the L&T to walk away from the Hyderabad Metro Rail project, are disturbing.

HMR, India’s biggest infrastructure project under public-private-partnership, is a game-changer in terms of the development of Hydera-bad. Apart from providing a comfortable and pollution-free travel option, it will help people living in the suburbs commute to their offices and enable further economic growth.

Because of the strong-arm tactics employed by the state, with its insistence on alignment changes, HMR developer, L&T was forced to propose its withdrawal. The completion of this project, which was already delayed due to the notorious YSR-Maytas-Satyam episode, has now become questionable.

The benefits that the Metro will provide to the city are being igno-red, in this conflict that continues to be driven by vested interests and the politics of arrogance.

The elected government, which came to power under the promise good governance, is expected to resolve the emerging conflicts with the developer in a transparent manner. Instead, the “firmans” issued by the state government and its lackeys, with a hidden agenda, are suffocating the developer. Any selfish agenda, maligning and obstructing the infrastructure developers, vitiates the investment atmosphere and corrodes the brand image of the city and the state.

The civil society of the new state of Telangana needs to shoulder the responsibility to act as a watchdog when it comes to the activities and policies of the new government.

The authoritarian and capricious initiative, which hurt the long-term interests of the state, must desist. It is time to give governance its due importance.

Anti-TS forces trying to taint state’s image

Harish Rao
TS minister for Irrigation and Legislative affairs

It has been just about three months since the formation of the new Telangana state after a period of a 60 year struggle. But there is no end to the conspiracies by the anti-Telangana forces.

The recent Hyderabad Metro Rail episode shows how far these forces are willing to go to obstruct the development of the state in general, and Hyderabad in particular.

They first leaked a letter to selective media houses stating that the L&T has offered to walk away from the Metro project due to non co-operation of the state government. It should be noted that this is an old letter written during February 2014 to Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, the then Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh. The letter with the same content has now been forwarded to the Telangana state government this month.

The government had taken note of the various issues raised by L&T, and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao held meetings twice with the traffic police, Greater Hyderabad Munciple Corporation and all other concerned officials to facilitate speedy completion of the metro work. Sudd-enly, we find some newspapers carrying this very same letter prominently. Following this, the Opposition parties conducted a press conferences and accused the TS government of blocking the Metro project.

Consider the timing that this letter has been leaked to the media. The TRS had just won the Medak Lok Sabha bypoll with a thumping majority on that day. People all over the state expected that the media would focus on the TRS victory. But shockingly, the leaked letter made the headlines the next day and the TRS victory in the bypoll was reduced to an insignificant item.

Yes, there are some issues with L&T, but the Chief Minister is committed to the completion of the project, giving the citizens of Hyderabad a world-class mass transit system.

The project is being implemented in public-private-partnership module, in which the government also has equal responsibility.

Moreover, why is it wrong to protect heritage structures in the city like the Maozam Jahi Market, Sultan Bazaar, Assembly building, T-Martyrs’ memorial? The Chief Minister had only asked the L&T officials to look at viable alternate options to save these structures. Ulti-mately, we as a government are answerable to the public, and not to corporate companies.

If someone thinks that they can blackmail the government by resorting to arm-twisting met-hods, like leaking letters, they should think twice.

We are willing to extend our complete co-operation to anyone for allow the speedy completion of the Metro, but we are not willing to surrender to anyone who tries to blackmail the government.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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