To ensure that heritage structures and two decades-old markets are not obscured, the L&T and Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd (HMR) are all set to realign the metro route in the Lakdi Ka Pul-Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station sector of the city. The move comes after Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao instructed HMR to work on an alternative route that will circumvent heritage buildings like the Assembly building and the Telangana Martyrs Memorial. The CM is also keen to protect old markets like Sultan Bazaar and Moazzam Jahi, falling on the stretch.
Metro construction along the markets would lead to demolition of hundreds of shops and displace footpath vendors and small traders. The shopkeepers have been protesting ever since the metro plan was conceived and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief had assured them during election campaign that he would protect their interests once his party came to power in the state.
HMR, which is conducting a feasibility study to alter the original design, will shortly submit a report to the government. Managing Director N V S Reddy on Sunday said: “L&T will also prepare its own report involving feasibility, additional costs and compensation etc.”
To circumvent the Assembly building, the tracks will have to be diverted to the rear side of Telugu University towards Lakdi Ka Pul through police quarters. This will necessitate demolition of many police quarters including the official residence of Telangana DGP.
On the other side, to save Sultan Bazaar and Moazzam Jahi markets, the route will be redesigned to pass from near Koti Women’s College towards Kacheguda. Metro stations proposed at Assembly and Sultan Bazaar will also have to be relocated.
HMR will also have to demolish at least 20 pillars that have already been erected from Lakdi Ka Pul.
Telangana Chief Secretary Dr Rajeev Sharma held a meeting with HMR officials Saturday to discuss issues they would confront while redesigning the route and hinted that Telangana government would compensate Rs 400 crore for the realignment.
The realignment would not only escalate the project cost by nearly Rs 600 crores but will delay the project in stage V (S R Nagar to L B Nagar in corridor 1) and stage VI (JBS to Falaknuma in corridor 2). HMR officials said the project may be delayed by six to eight months. The original deadline for completing corridor 1 (Miyapur-L B Nagar) is August 2016 while corridor 2 is January 2017.