HYDERABAD: In a blow to the TRS government's plans to get the alignment of the Hyderabad Metro Rail project changed, the Centre has decided that the Project Monitoring Group (PMG) under the cabinet secretariat will directly monitor the venture and ensure that it is completed as per its schedule.
"A web-based monitoring system will be launched by September. Until then, the state government will give a progress report on the project once every fortnight," said sources who were privy to the meeting held in Delhi on Friday that was attended by Union finance secretary Aravind Mayaram, Telangana chief secretary Rajiv Sharma, Telangana municipal administration & urban development principal secretary S K Joshi, HMRL managing director NVS Reddy and L&T chief executive V B Gadgil.
The Centre convened the meeting following a complaint from L&T that the Telangana government wants the alignment of corridor-1 changed so that it goes underground near the Assembly building and the design of corridor-II modified so that the traders in Sultan Bazaar are not displaced. The move could prove to be a roadblock to the TRS government's plans as despite it being a signatory to the concessionaire agreement (by virtue of being the successor state of united AP), only the Centre and L&T have a stake in the project.
"It is a very significant development since this is the first time that an infrastructure project is coming under the PMG's scanner. So far, the PMG has been facilitating clearance of 215 stalled projects with investment of Rs 1,000 crore and above in the areas of power plants and mining," said an official in the Union finance department. The PMG is headed by Anil Swaroop, additional secretary, cabinet secretariat.
According to the sources, Anil Swaroop said there were about seven or eight issues related to alignment of route and land acquisition among others that have to be resolved in a time-bound manner. "Timelines have been fixed to resolve the stand-off between L&T and Telangana government," the sources said but refused to elaborate.The sources said the Centre has asked the Telangana government not to press for the change in the route alignment of the metro rail as it would have legal and financial implications as it is being executed under the public private partnership (PPP) model. "In the meeting, Aravind Mayarama asked Rajiv Sharma to ensure full cooperation from the state government to the project," said the sources.
HMRL MD NVS Reddy said: "The Centre is very keen on the progress of the project, and works would not be hampered from any quarters whatsoever." Telangana MA&UD principal secretary S K Joshi said: "The Centre will not be supervising the works per se, but monitor the project in its entirerity." The decision to bring the Hyderabad metro rail project under the purview of the PMG is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of putting in place a foolproof system to ensure hassle-free execution of projects, Joshi added.
However, a Telangana government official said the metro rail project cannot progress without the cooperation of the state government as its agencies, including the GHMC, are involved in facilitating land acquisition and giving various clearances
Source..times of india