Nation Other News 29 Nov 2021 Metro rail’s c ...

Metro rail’s challenges were daunting: N.V.S. Reddy

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | MADDY DEEKSHITH
Published Nov 29, 2021, 2:20 am IST
Updated Nov 29, 2021, 2:20 am IST
Completing the remaining small stretch of five-and-a-half kilometres in the Old City and launching the airport metro works are priorities
Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited managing director N.V.S. Reddy. — DC Image
 Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited managing director N.V.S. Reddy. — DC Image

HYDERABAD: After four years of roller-coaster ride, the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) is limping back to normalcy, with services resumed and passengers relying on the classic mode of urban public transport in large numbers.

HMRL’s managing director N.V.S. Reddy, in a freewheeling chat with this newspaper, shared the ups and downs of the journey of the much-coveted urban transport system on its fourth anniversary on Sunday.  

 

“It was a mix of both pleasure and pain. While there was tremendous satisfaction over the successful commissioning and operations of the world’s largest metro on PPP mode, the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic are daunting,” he said, adding that bringing back the metro ridership to normalcy post Covid-19 pandemic was the biggest challenge.

Excerpts:

 How excited were you when the metro was inaugurated on November 28, 2017, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

It was an exciting moment as my cherished dream was turning into a reality. Since almost 97 per cent of the mass transit systems are implemented with government funds and no metro project of this magnitude has ever been done on public private partnership (PPP) mode anywhere in the world, many wrote off this project as a pipe dream.

 

How did you get the idea of having a dedicated women's station?

We tried to structure the Hyderabad metro project more as a socioeconomic project and not a mere engineering project. Gender equality is an important goal for us. Providing safe travel for women and girls to their workplace or educational institution or any other destination is very crucial for women empowerment. This is a part of that agenda.

Are you happy about the ridership?

Yes, to a large extent. At least the earlier feudal attitude of looking down upon travel in public transport in Hyderabad is gone. Crossing a mark of 4 lakhs passengers daily before the Covid-19 pandemic in just two years of its operations is a good beginning.

 

What were your first thoughts, when the metro was asked to shut due to Covid-19?

It was a nightmare and I never imagined that such a situation would ever arise.

How are metro services now post Covid-19?

Metro is slowly getting back to normalcy.

Did the ridership increase?

Ridership is now around 2.40 lakh per day and it’s increasing day by day. If there is no third wave and more workplaces open up, we will touch the pre-Covid levels in about six months from now.

What are your future plans?

Completing the remaining small stretch of five-and-a-half kilometres in the Old City and launching the airport metro works are priorities.

 

 Finally, how would you sum up your four years of journey?

It was a mixture of both pleasure and pain. While there was tremendous satisfaction over the successful commissioning and operations of the world’s largest metro on PPP mode, the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic were too daunting.

...
Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad




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