L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad is ready to resume Metro services, but awaiting the green signal from the state government. If it gets the nod, Metro services in the city may resume from September 7 as per the Centre’s Unlock 4.0 guidelines.
“We are absolutely ready to resume the services whenever we get a nod from the state government. More delay in resuming services will aggravate the losses. Things were looking bright for the Hyderabad Metro before the pandemic hit the state. We achieved a break-even operationally within a short period,” an HMRL official said.
L&T, which built and operates Hyderabad Metro Rail project, was making operating profits, carrying close to 4.5 lakh passengers a day before the lockdown. However, due to suspension of commercial operations from March 22 on account of the pandemic, it was estimated that the project was losing close to Rs 45 crore a month.
According to official sources, even if the government provides a financial relief for the massive loss incurred during the last five months, it could take nearly two years for the project to break even. L&T Metro Rail’s latest audit report states the company generated a revenue of Rs 590 crore during the last financial year solely from the operation of the Metro service.
The report also states that L&T Metro Rail-Hyderabad had already submitted the project cost overrun details to the state for Rs 3,756 crore and has been pursuing the matter for relief. The Metro rail is also incurring expenditure of maintenance and trial runs during the lockdown.
Meanwhile, HMRL has begun taking precautionary measures as the Union government announced Unlock 4.0 guidelines, permitting the operation of Metro services. Apart from regular sanitisation of railings and elevators and ensuring social distancing, HMRL and L&T officials have informed that they would follow guidelines to be announced by the Centre once the services resume in the twin cities.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is expected to take a decision today, as to how and when Metro rail services should resume in the city.