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India’s only successful metro rail project under PPP model

Improving infrastructure is the key to India’s and other developing country’s growth and development. The public Transport mechanism in a highly populated country like India is often complex and has to operate in the framework of strict rules and regulations by the Government. Any successful model in public transport is a significant achievement. Hyderabad Metro Rail project is definitely one such unique PPP model that would set an example to the world and boost the economy of the country. Better infrastructure always attracts investors globally.

Accelerated urbanization will continue for quite some time to come, and definitely there is a drastic need for an efficient Public Transport System both in existing cities and Metros or new Metros which will come up. As such, there seems to be a very good potential for Metro Construction in India for immediate as well as in the near future. It will be challenging to put up an efficient Mass Public Transport System like Metro Rail Project in existing cities and Metros due to various factors like congested roads, the heavy density of traffic, Inadequate suitable land etc. However, planned new cities with transport as backbone having Metro will be ideal, provided, futuristic planning is properly done, not remaining myopic which has been the hallmark of Urban Infrastructure in India in the recent past.  Metro Rail is considered to be a modern, safe, green and reliable Public Mass Transport System and as such will be very much favored.

Hyderabad Metro Rail Project is the “World’s Largest Public-Private Partnership Project in the Metro Sector”. Cities are modern-day nerve centers of growth. They are magnets for capital and for large, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic groups of people. Cities can generate energy that can transform communities and accelerate the pace of progress. Metros as Mass Rapid Transport Systems (MRTS) are enablers that help cities to realize their full potential for growth and development.

Hyderabad Metro Rail Project is the world’s largest PPP projects in the Metro Sector. It is a pioneering concept adopted for the first time in the world. L&TMRHL has taken a quantum leap from the concept of client & contractor to the role of a concessionaire. L&TMRHL is a harbinger on the global platform of metro rail and has opened new vistas for the Indian economy.

“Our O&M model has similarities to Hong Kong and other metros where Transit Orientation Development (TOD) plays a significant role. The other features include Intra Modal transportation (Physical, operational, fare integration). Emphasis is on Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) and customer satisfaction. Our main focus is on life cycle costing, development of an efficient and lean organization for O&M and building its capability in a structured manner”, said KVB Reddy, Managing Director & CEO, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited.

Efficient project execution and O&M strategies in developing world-class metro railway networks, employment generation and skill development are significant features of this model, resulting in overall economic development.

Having said that, in spite of large opportunities available presently in the metro sectors, unless proper model of execution is finalised giving suitable thought to the challenges envisaged in the Concession Agreement (CA) from the point of view of proper risk identification and mitigation and making the PPP projects really working as a partnership especially in PPP mode.

A number of statutory approvals should be made system based and not personal based to avoid undue delays. Standardization of technical specifications and unification of the same across the country will help in a great way.

Ease in coordinated approvals from different agencies both at Central and State Government levels will definitely ease the pains being felt presently for speedier and economical execution of the project.

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