Telangana is one of the few states in India where a large portion of population, estimated to be around 40% live in urban areas. Of the total 3.50 crore population of the State, at least one crore live in the limits of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and a sizeable portion live in other major cities like Warangal, Nizamabad and Karimnagar etc.
The very recent launch of the first phase of 30km stretch of Hyderabad Metro Rail project through the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is a major milestone in the history of over 400 years old Hyderabad city. Considered as the first public-private partnership venture, this Metro Rail project puts Telangana on t he global map.
Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao (KTR) has not only announced that the remaining part of the 72 km long Metro Rail project would be commissioned by the end of 2018, but also stated that the chief minister was committed to expand the Metro Rail network to connect new areas like Hyderabad international airport and also other major routes.
The professional approach of municipal administration and urban development department of Telangana is fast emerging successful in finding innovative and smart solutions to problems of people in the GHMC and other cities in the State. Opening up of an Outer Ring Road and improving inner roads are vital to the development of Hyderabad.
Town Hall approach of KTR
Urban Development Minister KTR’s decision to conduct Town Hall type meetings to interact with people of Hyderabad city is an innovative idea. This experiment is to know the problems of people first hand and initiate steps to solve them through a dedicated team of bureaucrats on the spot is yielding results. This also improves public involvement in urban services.
The urban population of the State is growing day-by-day, in tune with the rapid urbanisation phenomenon witnessed all over the world as well as in our country. Providing and expanding urban infrastructure has become a major responsibility of Telangana government as the cities and towns continue to grow and a large number of floating population need immediate reddressal of their problems.
As Hyderabad city has become a major metropolis in India and a destination of international visitors over the years, solving basic issues like sanitation, roads, water supply, power, drainages, housing, education, easing of traffic, promoting public transport and connectivity and providing civic services has become major concerns of government.
Providing civic amenities to the growing urban population is a challenging task. The government is making sincere effort to meet this challenge. Importance is being accorded to meet the immediate needs of urban areas, as Telangana Finance Minister E Rajender’s budget speech early this year in the Legislative Assembly.
For this purpose, special provisions are being made for the development of infrastructure in Hyderabad and other Municipalities. An amount of Rs1,000 crore has been proposed towards assistance to GHMC and Rs300.00 crore to Warangal Municipal Corporation. The assistance proposed for other Municipal Corporations is Rs 400.00 crore.
An amount of Rs 500 crore has been proposed for the Development of Musi River Front. The total allocation proposed to the Municipal Administration and Urban Development is Rs 5,599 crore. In addition, extra-budgetary resources will be raised for the development of urban infrastructure so that the cities and towns in Telangana will be the best in the country.
The present infrastructure facilities are not adequate to meet the growing population of the capital city of Hyderabad. In the monsoon season, there is flooding and water logging in many areas of the city. The road network is also not found to be adequate. Rapid urbanisation on the city outskirts is a major reason for t his inadequate facilities.
To address these problems, it is proposed that the newly formed Hyderabad Road Development Corporation will take up works relating to improvement of storm water drains in the city and road development in and around the city. This specialised approach will help the government focus on the needs of urban areas on an urgent basis.
Several initiatives taken by the municipal administration and urban development department have evoked good response from the public as well as public representatives. They include Swachh Hyderabad, separation of wet and dry garbage, competing for smart city status and improving green cover in residential colonies etc. No wonder that many big cities and towns are in race for various awards.
Hyderabad Metro Rail Project
Hyderabad Metro Rail Project is a stellar example of the government’s sincere efforts to ease urban commutation problem on an everlasting basis. Once this is fully operational, 72 km long Hyderabad Metro Rail will be the world’s largest elevated metro rail, on a PPP basis. Since its launch on November 28, the Metro has become a big hit with people of Hyderabad as more than one lakh passengers take to it daily.
The first phase of Metro Rail connects busy corridor of Nagole and Miyapur which passes through commercial hubs like Ameerpet and Kukatpalli. Within a month, Metro Rail has become lifeline to thousands of students, employees and businessmen in these routes. The face of the city would change once the remaining part becomes operational.
It is heartening to note that there are now demands from different areas of the city and outskirts that the Metro Rail is expanded to their areas too. As the fares are within the reach, people are finding the Metro Rail useful to their daily needs. Once the full length of the network becomes operational by next year, it will visibly ease traffic congestion and air and noise pollution in the heart of the city.
A month after its launch, Hyderabad Metro Rail has announced increasing the number of cars from three to six and the speed of trains from March, 2018. In the last one month, around 32.5 lakh passengers travelled by Metro and 22 % of them use smart cards daily. Of the Rs 16,511 crore total cost of the project, L&T has spent Rs 14,261 crore and the State government spending Rs 2,250 crore.
Connecting various parts of Hyderabad city to the Shamshabad International Airport is another major task before the government. After the successful commissioning of the first phase of Metro Rail, Minister KTR has revealed government’s plans to take up extension of the project to Shamshabad international airport, from Raidurg-Gachibowli, a 28 km stretch.
Besides, the government is also planning to extend the Metro Rail to LB Nagar to Hayatnagar, seven kilometres Miyapur to Patancheru, 13 km, Nagole to Falaknuma to Shamshabad, 28 km and Tarnaka to ECIL, seven kilometres If these proposals take shape, the Shamshabad International Airport would be connected from two sides — IT corridor Gachibowli as well as Falaknuma in the Old city of Hyderabad.
The government has plans to improve the connectivity of the airport with skyways and road expansion projects also. As Hyderabad airport has emerged as a busy air hub in the country, its connectivity with different parts of the city would certainly enhances the overall economy and improves urban infrastructure, thus making it one of the best destinations in the country and South Asia.