Hyderabad: The LB-Nagar to Ameerpet Metro is all set to be inaugurated on September 24, but when Deccan Chronicle visited the stations to give a sneak peak of what to expect, the situation at the street level does not appear ideal for inauguration. While the view from the metro is going to take you through the heritage of Hyderabad, street level works at all stations are still in progress, with debris, tiles, pipelines strewn everywhere. A decent walkway would be better but don’t expect the fancy footpaths created at the Jubilee Hills to Hitec city metro anytime soon. It would take another six months to complete all the works and get good amenities as promised by officials. Passengers will have to negotiate their way between daily wage labourers, hawkers and heavy vehicular traffic at a number of stations. For the differently abled it is going to be tough initially, as the ramps have not been built and areas at stations have yet to be cleared of gravel to make them wheelchair-friendly. Yet again it is going to be an inauguration in name only.
Commuters will have a tough time as the staircase is on the main road and there is a U-turn in front of the Next galleria mall. With Panjagutta being a major place to congregate, the footpath is going to have a different design to cater to the public visiting the mall and station. Works related to the footpath is in progress on the mall side but on the other side, the bus stop is in a mess. Commuters getting down from the elevators will have the mall on one side and the eye hospital on the other. Mr.Nagaraju, a resident of Rasoolpura, said, “Road commuters are not going to go away, so facilities like bus stop and parking on the other side of the road need to be worked upon and not just on the mall side.”
This station has major buildings and hospitals close to it. The area is active with hawkers and fruit vendors and but has no footpath. The authorities have set up ramps and metal railings for passenger traffic. A hawker Mahaboob said, “We will shift a little forward, once we are asked to clear it as the business runs well here due to the presence of hospitals.”
Several important buildings are in the vicinity along with the MMTS station. The construction of the staircase is in progress. According to officials, one side is held up due to a court case over land acquisition. Though there is no bus bay as of yet under construction, RTC buses make a hard stop for passengers to get down and get in. Construction of the staircase is in progress and hawkers continue to sell in the area. There are ATMs, banks and several eateries in the vicinity. A resident of Somajiguda and an architect Pranathi said, “There is a need to have a proper bus stop as it is a risk for people who are travelling.”
At a throwaway distance is MMTS station and several administrative buildings, ATMs and restaurants. Water foundations welcome users. Some have left alcohol bottles on the pavements which are still under construction. While sewerage is overflowing, water is dripping from the metro station. This will soon be fixed, it is learnt.
While from the station the view is iconic, the street view has a store at the entrance. The station passes through a road which is one way, so people have to negotiate turns to reach the station. Parking continues to be a problem for retailers. A retailer Mr Sanjay Sharma said, “Our business doesn’t need much advertising, so we are good with the presence of the metro. However, there is a parking problem for people who want to stop in front of the shop.”
Three staircases exit towards the Nampally metro station. Partially demolished structures still lie at the station. Buses stop in the middle of the road. However there are no footpaths at all or ramp on one side. The first of its kind parking facility is going to come up in nine months and the work has begun.
However, the heritage precinct is being developed. Auto drivers say that these days only short distance travel is being preferred by commuters.
The works at Gandhi Bhavan are going on at a rapid pace as compared to other stations which will be providing quality public space. Using different designs and an attractive planter box, the walkway displays an appealing pattern on one side. Mr N. Kumar of the Muralidhar Park who set up the pandal says, “Despite the presence of the metro, we will continue to set up the pandal in coming years as this has been the tradition since past 40-50years”.
Osmania Medical College
Schools and colleges are along the walkway while on the other side is the famous book store. An exit is inside the lane and currently banners are hung across the railing of the staircase. Several shops and eateries run close to the station.
The station is going to be the largest in Asia. Apart from the Parade ground, this is the first station which will be directly connecting people to the Bus station. The passengers will be allowed on the street level and first level while the upper level is under construction. Passengers can exit using the skywalk towards Chaderghat side or onto the MGBS bus station. The works are in progress at the MGBS bus station and the beautification works have to start.
The area is right next to Malakper station and there is constant vehicular movement. A lot of daily wage labourers currently use the station. Mr Pratap Reddy a resident said, “Hopefully we will get a footpath soon. I have never seen one before here. There will be commuters from the other station also using it which hopefully will reduce road traffic.”
Daily wage labourers use the metro exist as a spot to sit and wait. The station runs parallel to the service road and the hawkers completely occupy the footpath. There are works going on at the footpath and parking space is
not available in the near vicinity.
Pipeline works are going on with a lot of debris at each station. The service road has all kinds of shops and is a good place to quickly buy stuff. The area is active with hawkers and autorickshaws plying from Amberpet. Mr K Arvind a resident, “Currently I am using the company’s transport. But from Monday I might commute from here. I am hoping that the place looks beautiful like the western part of the city.”
As busy as it looks, it continues to be so with heavy vehicular movement. The Metro exit lands at the Bus station easing it for the long distance commuters. The footpaths have been beautified and railings have been setup. Mr K. Satish said, “The connectivity in this area has increased. So now the rents in the area are also increasing until LB Nagar station, same is the case. Our owner notified us about increase in rent last month.”
Hawkers make their presence felt on either side of the road. Hawkers were initially away from the road. But since railings have been setup, they are now standing on road. They sell primarily fruits and flowers. The bus stop in the vicinity is filled with mud and debris. Mr B. Swetha a commuter at Chaitanyapuri said, “There is severe traffic congestion in evening as the road width is reduced”
There is a bus stop immediately at the exit. The UGD works are going on and one could relish food from Karachi bakery or Paradise. Beautification works around the trees are in progress on the other side.
People would exit to hawkers and there is flyover construction activity going on. However, on the flyover side, there is heavy vehicular movement and lot of dust. Beautification is going on one side and there is a temple on the ramp at this side. Mr Syed Altaf said, “This will be most used station as lot of people board buses from here. Several people who are commuting to other states or districts board here and not just people from Dilshuknagar area.”