Diamond necklace, cotton sari for Ivanka
wards should be included in the beautification drive, as a result of which the budget was increased to Rs 450 crore. Even faraway areas on the eastern and northern parts of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, have been done up. By the time the all the work gets over, the total bill will go up further.
B. Janardhan Reddy, GHMC commissioner, told this newspaper that the beautification was also to mark the inauguration of the prestigious Metro Rail by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the same day, 28 November. “Definitely, it is a grand festive occasion for all of us in the city. We have redone all roads damaged due to the recent rains and the foreign guests are here,” he said.
All flyovers and foot over-bridges in the city have been painted, while major routes have got murals and wall art. Hundreds of students from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Fine Arts have been roped in to brighten up the city with colours. The GHMC has placed coloured bulbs at fountains and on trees.
The Old City, where Muslims live in large numbers, has been decked up, too. Ivanka will attend a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Falaknuma Palace on 28 November. Initially, local Muslims resisted police plans to cordon-search entire areas to identify strangers, but after the beautifica- tion drive, they started cooperating with the police. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel for a distance of 13.5 km by Metro after he formally launches the Hyderabad Metro Rail project on 28 November, Tuesday. He will travel from Miyapur to Kukaptpally and back, accompanied by Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimham, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) and the latter’s son and minister, K.T. Rama Rao (KTR)
The PM will arrive at Begumpet old airport in Hyderabad at 1.10 pm by an Air Force jet from Delhi and reach Miyapur by helicopter at 2 pm. There he will unveil a pylon, marking the launch of the Metro, besides a brochure and an app. Later, he will take a ride on the Metro by buying the first ticket from the Metro staff.
After returning to Miyapur, the PM will fly take a helicopter to the HICC grounds, where he will inaugurate the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Hyderabad Metro Rail is the country’s biggest in terms of the public private partnership (PPP) model. Originally planned in 2008 at Rs 14,132 crore, the project’s cost shot up to Rs 20,000 crore. This includes Rs 14,000 crore already spent.
Of the total amount, 90% is borne by the promoters, L&T, while the Centre is providing Rs 1,458 crore in the form of viability gap funding; the remaining is shared by the state in the form of land and amenities to the tune of around Rs 3,000 crore. Of the total 73 km distance that Hyderabad Metro spans, 31 km is being inaugurated on Tuesday. The remaining is expected to be ready by 2019.
All the seven other Metro projects including the old ones like Delhi and Kolkata in the country are facing financial losses, whereas the Hyderabad Metro is designed to generate profits through real estate ventures attached to it. Around 269 acres of prime land in the city are allocated on a 35-year-lease to promoters and shopping malls and rental buildings are built along the routes. The malls and buildings will generate profits to ensure the project breaks even within the first 10 years, as per L&T projections. There is a provision to extend the lease for another 25 years to the same firm, if things go well. The Prime Minister’s Office has enquired about the commercial provisions of the Hyderabad Metro so that they can be adapted to upcoming Metro projects in other cities.
KTR, who looks after the municipal administration portfolio, told the media that the CM would request the PM to clear the second phase of the Metro, covering another 90 km, connecting the Shamshabad International Airport and the Old City and the temple town of Yadagirigutta, 40 km from the city. The state government would also seek additional funds from the Centre in view of the escalated cost of the project.
After spending nine hours in Hyderabad, the PM will leave for Rajkot in Gujarat.