Hyderabad Metro Rail will restart services starting September 7th. The lockdown imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in a 170-day hiatus in operations.
This decision was taken in a meeting convened by the Chief Minister of Telangana, Mr K Chandrashekhar Rao yesterday.
A meeting was held between the HMRL Managing Director Mr NVS Reddy and Union Minister of State for Home Mr G Kishan Reddy two days back on the modalities for reintroducing the services.
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The agenda included guidelines for social distancing, queue and public management, making masks mandatory, maintaining sanitation and hygiene at the stations, approaches apart from the train coaches themselves.
Since the Metro passes through some areas that are close to COVID Containment zones or highly populated localities, the authorities might consider skipping stoppages at few such stations. Services will be allowed with only half seating capacity and restricted standing capacity.
Phases of reopening :
Monday, 7th Sep: Miyapur – LB Nagar (7am-12pm & 4pm-9pm)
Tuesday, 8th Sep: Miyapur – LB Nagar & Nagole – Raidurg (7am – 12pm & 4pm – 9pm)
Wednesday, 9th Sep: All three corridors would function (7am-9pm)
As per Govt guidelines, Gandhi Hospital, Bharat Nagar, Moosapet, Musheerabad and Yousufguda stations would remain closed and trains would not halt at these stations.
Financial Damage and Borrowings
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Meanwhile, HMRL had announced a 260 cr loss caused due to the lockdown effect. As per the concession agreement between L&T and the Telangana Govt, the company would be compensated financially and with additional subsidies to overcome the unprecedented force majeure situation.
HMRL has borrowed 12000cr from a consortium of banks to fund the infrastructure for the country’s second-largest metro rail project.
Prior to the lockdown, Metro Rail services had become popular and exceeded all ridership expectations, especially towards the IT district. Travellers had requested HMRL to increase the number of coaches to 6 from the existing 3 at least during the peak office hours.
With the majority of ITeS companies opting for employees working from home, it remains to be seen if the ridership would reach the peak it did before the lockdown.
HMRL has already started trial and preparatory runs in readiness of the resumption of services. Railpost.in would update you as and when detailed information and guidelines are released.