Hyderabad: Evenas the state government is all said to commence work on the Warangal metro rail, not a single stone has been laid even now to construct the line to complete the pending MGBS to Falaknuma line, which will essentially bring the metro to the core Old City area. Though the metro rail has been up and running (currently suspended due to Covid-19) from over a year, the south zone only has limited access to it.
As of now, the closest metro line to the Charminar or internal Old City areas is the Malakpet or MGBS (Imliban) station, from where the Charminar is over a kilometer away. The metro lines run across the city today, connecting areas like Gandhi hospital to LB Nagar and Hi-Tech City, among others.
The Old City is still lacking metro connectivity in spite of the fact that the population there is double that of Warangal city, and the government appears to be apathetic in this case. The population of Hyderabad’s south zone is believed to be between 20 and 25 lakhs, while that of Warangal city is 11 lakh.
The popular Charminar area, which a shopping hub-cum-historical attraction for tourists, sees thousands of visitors every day. With only autos and limited parking space, it is anything but convenient to reach there, even through by-lanes. Finding a spot, especially to park four-wheelers, is a monumental headache especially in the evenings and during the month of Ramzan, when there is literally no place to walk.
The famous lad bazaar, also in the Charminar area, has hoards of people visiting its famous bangle markets on a daily basis. According to the Old City Metro Rail Joint Action Committee (JAC), the original construction plan in April 2012 of the Metro project was for a total of 71 km including six km in Old City starting from Darulshifa (MGBS) to Falaknuma, the route from JBS to Falaknuma in corridor-II.
Originally, or technically, the MGBS to Falaknuma goes via DarulShifa, Purani Haveli, Eitebar Chowk, Sultan Shahi, Shah Ali Banda, Syed Ali Chabutra and Shamsheer Gunj, with six metro stations at the Salarjung museum, Charminar, Shah Ali Banda, Shamshergunj, Jangammet and Falaknuma. But even after six years after work on the Hyderabad Metro Rail project began, it is nowhere close to the Charminar area.
“Since the project was started, the government is only paying lipservice, but nothing on the ground can be seen. We demand the authorities to announce the date of metro rail project and start project work in Old City”, said a JAC member who did not want to be quoted. He added that the metro rail project has reached MGBS covering 66 km in the city, but is yet to enter the Old City. “Works should have been completed by 2016,” he also pointed out.
A senior legislator from the senior legislator from the Old City, who also did not wanted to be quoted, mockingly claimed that the KCR government turns a deaf ear whenever it is questioned about this issue.
Speaking to Siasat.com, Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) public relations officer (PRO) Krishnanand, while initially stating that “work is in process” and asked this reporter to check details on the HMR website. The PRO however went back on his words and conceded that no work has in fact started on the JBS-Falaknuma line, after this reporter checked to verify it.
Moreover, on several occasions, All India Majilis-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) floor leader and MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi alleged that the Old City has been given a raw deal in terms of metro connectivity.