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No Metro for Ugadi, HMR, L&T crib over losses; KCR keen on full launch

The much hyped and also allegedly jinxed Metro rail inaugural between Nagole and Mettuguda by Ugadi is not happening.

Apparently because Telangana Chief Minster K Chandrashekar Rao has ordered against it. "I don't want bits and pieces, give me a complete first phase by next year," that is the new direction of the Telangana CM, because of whose whims and fancies the implementation of the first phase is already one year behind schedule.

The Telangana government seems not keen on launching in phases, but is ready to wait till next year for completion of the project. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao during his interaction with US Ambassador to India Richard Varma, said that Metro Rail of 200 km from the existing 72 km, within the first phase itself will start ‘next year’.

The Chief Minister’s comment has triggered speculations over the eventual inauguration of the eight-km stretch of Hyderabad Metro Rail. But the test runs for the much-awaited opening of the Metro section is already on. While HMR authorities who were pointing to Ugadi as the launch date are now tight-lipped on the date of inauguration, the chief minister directed the officials not to issue any public statement on the launch of Metro Rail, says a Metro rail staffer.

According to HMR authorities, works pertaining to the Metro stations at Uppal, Nagole, Mettuguda, Habsiguda and NGRI are nearing completion. The authorities said that the works were in full swing and hoped that they would soon get the safety clearance certificate from the Indian Railways for the first phase . 'If not the 72-km, we can at least begin operation of the 40 km plus zone by next year," says a HMR official, if the government desires.

But the MAUD authorities too are clueless on the Metro Rail inaugural date since a note received from the Chief Minister’s Office merely says that the first phase of Metro Rail would be starting next year.

The L&T officials were stunned by another missile at their operations.They say the loss the engineering conglomerate has incurred over the change in route design insisted by KCR has already cost them nearly Rs.2100 crore. Now, a further delay would cost them more interest on their investments and liability could go up to nearly Rs.3200 crore if the inaugural is put off by another one year.

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