HYDERABAD: Even as the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) has completed four years of its services on Sunday, its promise of delivering 72-km metro line still remains unfulfilled as the Larsen and Toubro (L&T) could complete just 67 kilometres of metro lanes.
The HMRL has not made any effort for completing the Old City and the airport line as it was already in troubled waters, post Covid-19 lockdowns. Though the government assured to bail out metro rail from losses, the ridership plunged from 4.5 lakh per day to 1 lakh per day post lockdown and now it has slowly reached to 2.5 lakh recently.
The HMRL promised 29 kilometres of services along LB Nagar-Miyapur corridor, 28 kilometres along Nagole-Raidurg and 15 kilometres along JBS-Faluknama. However, it could only deliver 16.8 kms from Nagole to Ameerpet, and 11.3 kms from Ameerpet to Miyapur, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 28, 2017. Former Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan inaugurated the 16.8 kms Ameerpet-LB Nagar corridor on September 24, 2018 and he also inaugurated 8.5 kms during March 20, 2019.
The 1.5 kms stretch from Hitec City to Raidurg was inaugurated by municipal administration and urban development minister K.T. Rama Rao on November 29 in the same year. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao inaugurated the 11 kms JBS-MGBS corridor on February 7, 2020. However, neither the L&T nor the HMRL authorities gave any clarity on the MGBS-Falaknuma stretch. Union minister G. Kishan even expressed displeasure on HMRL authorities for not completing the project despite the Centre providing viability gap funding.
This apart, the delay in executing the world's largest metro project, executed under public private partnership (PPP) mode cost dearly. The project cost escalated by Rs 3,700 crore making the total cost Rs 21, 919 crore. The L&T HMRL suffered huge losses in the past three financial years and especially after the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
In its annual financial statement, L&T HMRL, claimed that the losses ballooned to Rs 1,766.74 crore during the financial year 2020-21 when the services were also shut down for about six months from March 23 to September 8, 2020 due to the Covid19 outbreak.
This year, the metro rail service was forced to run on limited timings during the lockdown in May-June when ridership was just a few thousands when compared to the near five lakh riders and Rs 40 crore revenue a month.
As on March 31, 2021, the gross fixed and intangible assets including leased assets of LT&HMRL was put at Rs 17.713.28 crore and the net fixed and intangible assets, including leased assets at Rs 17,180.07 crore. Capital investment was 276.19 crore and loans were to the tune of Rs 13,213.33 crore.