Hyderabad: Describing Hyderabad Metro Rail as an achievement of Congress party, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the present TRS Government was wrongly trying to take credit for the project.
Speaking at the power-point presentation on Hyderabad Metro Rail held by the Congress party at Indira Bhavan in party headquarters Gandhi Bhavan premises on Sunday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that neither the TRS Government in Telangana nor the BJP Government at Centre made any contribution to the project.
In fact, he said KCR acted as the ‘trouble maker’ in execution of the project. Stating that HMR was the dream project of Congress government, he dubbed the present launch as ‘Kaam Hamara, Naam Tumhara’.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the then Chief Minister Dr. Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy secured the approval of Metro Rail from Government of India in the year 2007.
He also inaugurated the Metro Rail Bhavan. The Concession Agreement was signed on September 4, 2010. He said Metro Rail works were launched by the then CM Kiran Kumar Reddy on December 25, 2012.
The trial run of Metro Rail was originally scheduled to be held by the end of 2014. However, TRS Govt deliberately delayed the project to prevent Congress party from taking credit.
The TPCC chief said KCR’s political greed was the only reason for delay and cost overrun in Metro Rail Project. “The project cost got escalated by over Rs. 4,000 crore and two-and-a-half years were lost.
Is it not criminal waste of public money and is KCR not responsible for this?” he asked while accusing the Chief Minister of committing a ‘social sin’ by delaying the project.
Alleging that it was KCR’s perennial habit of stealing other’s credit, Uttam Kumar Reddy slammed him for not having basic decency and courtesy to even invite opposition parties for the HMR launch.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said Metro Rail was part of previous Congress Government’s vision to turn Hyderabad into a global city. Describing 2004-2014 as the Golden Decade for Hyderabad, he said over Rs. 1 lakh crore were spent on several prestigious projects by the Congress Government.
They included Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (Rs. 2,478 C); 158-km Nehru Outer Ring Road (Rs. 6,696 Cr); 11.6 km PVNR Expressway (Rs. 600 Cr) and Godavari Drinking Water Supply project (Rs. 3,375 Cr). He said all three phases of Krishna Drinking Water Supply project were initiated during Congress regime. He also listed out various other projects implemented by the Congress Govt.
He said the IT Exports grew from Rs. 5,025 Cr in 2003-04 to Rs. 57,000 Cr in 2013-14 and workforce increased from 85,945 to 323,691 in 10 years.
He said it was the Congress Govt which transformed MCH into GHMC and its budget increased from Rs. 680.69 Cr in 2004-05 to Rs. 4,599 Cr in 2014-15. Over 20 flyovers at important locations in the city were also constructed during 2004-2014.
The TPCC chief said it was Congress Government which submitted “The Nomination Dossier for the “Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad -Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs and Charminar” to UNESCO World Heritage Centre Pads as India’s official entry in January 2012.
In 2011, Hyderabad was the only Indian city to figure in the list of 41 Places to Go released by The New York Times. In March 2012, the Union Tourism Ministry declared Hyderabad as the first ever “Best Heritage City of India” and in 2013 Hyderabad was declared the World’s third best city to visit.
Hyderabad was ranked second best among the World’s “Must See” destinations by the National Geographic Traveler and it was adjudged the ‘Best City to Live in India’ in Mercer’s Quality of Living Report 2015. It was all due to the initiatives taken by the Congress Govt.
He said Hyderabad Metro Rail would’ve become operational long ago if it had not been delayed by KCR.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said people are already aware that HMR was Congress achievement. However, in view of wrong publicity being done by the TRS Government, he directed the party workers to enlighten the people about it.
“Each and every passenger of Metro Rail should know that the facility became a reality due to Congress party. However, the passengers can hold KCR responsible for the costly ticket,” he said.
He said that the ticket prices announced by the HMRL authorities were in violation of Tariff Agreement. He said there was an increase by 300% in upper slab. Further, he said slabs have been increased from 6 to 10. He said poor and middle class people, small traders and daily wage earners could not afford the cost.
“L&T is justifying the hike in tariff due to delay in completion of project. Is KCR not responsible for this delay? It appears that the TRS Govt has mortgaged Metro Rail to L&T and forgot that at the end of the day it is a public property,” he said.
TPCC Chief Spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan, in his detailed presentation, produced documentary and video evidence to show how KCR has delayed the project. Showing an extract from the L&T Annual Report, he said that the company has sent communication to BSE and NSE seeking two-and-a-half years’ extension up to Nov 2019.
“As there have been delays from the Government’s side in providing RoW, the company has applied to the government for interim extension of time of scheduled completion date up to November 2019,” the L&T said in its letter.
He also described KCR’s agitation seeking change of HMR alignment as dubious. He also produced a letter written to the then Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on 17th August 2011 by KCR raising issues of “destruction of historical monuments, heritage and culture and ‘Improper agreements with L&T’. He had also complained of lack of transparency and no public debate
. KCR had demanded open discussion on DPP and Concessional agreement and other relevant reports. He also wanted the contents of agreement changed to protect the government land and overall interests of people in terms of regulating the tariff.
He also demanded change in the alignment of Corridor-2 to protect historical monuments such as Sultan Bazar. He wanted construction of underground Metro to protect the historical bazaars such as M.J. Market, Jambagh and Assembly, Gun Park, etc.,
He also asked for underground Metro to avoid further traffic congestions at Panjagutta,Ameerpet, Begumpet, etc., “The physical skyline of the city will be defaced forever. Hyderabad City will lose its historic look and character,” KCR had claimed in its letter.
However, after becoming the Chief Minister, KCR delayed the projects for over two years and finally agreed to implement the original plan. “Why did KCR conveniently altered his proposal of changing alignment?” he asked.
In conclusion, Uttam Kumar Reddy accused KCR of cheating the people of Telangana in the name of heritage assets and other reasons. He also slammed TRS Govt for not ensuring hiring of locals to execute Metro Rail works.
Public Accounts Committee chairman Dr. J. Geetha Reddy, Leader of Opposition in Council Shabbir Ali, former Union Ministers S. Jaipal Reddy and Balram Naik, ex-PCC Presidents V. Hanumantha Rao and Ponnala Lakshmaiah, ex-minister Marri Sashidhar Reddy, MLC Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, ex-MLA Sudhir Reddy, Bhikshapati Yadav, Kuna Srisailam Goud, RR DCC president Kayam Mallaesh, ex-Mayor Banda Karthika Reddy, and several senior leaders were present on the occasion. (INN)