As losses mount on Hyderabad metro, L&T seeks help from Telangana govt

Hyderabad: Following the losses brought in by COVID-19-induced restrictions, the constructional and operational partner of the Hyderabad Metro rail project, L&T HMRL has now sought help from the Telangana government to bail it out of the financial crisis, reports said.

The operator has been making Rs 5 crore loss a day, on an average, while its earnings are just Rs 1 crore a day. Last mile connectivity, low ridership and increased operational costs have further wiped off gains from L&T HMRL, Times Of India reported.

Last month, L&T authorities had reportedly met chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and requested for help. KCR asked both Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) and chief minister’s office to submit a report on what could be done as per the concessionaire agreement. 

TOI quoted Sources in the government as saying that the L&T submitted their financial details to the government. According to them, the Metro rail operator had registered Rs 400 crore loss alone in the first quarter (between April and June 2021) and is expected to touch Rs 1,500 crore by the end of the fiscal.

 Accumulated losses since the beginning of the operations had reached about Rs 4,000 crore. In the 2019-2020, the accumulated losses were Rs1,766 crore, which was declared by L&THMRL in its annual report. 

“Before COVID-19, the daily average ridership was 3.4 lakh and even it went to a peak of four lakh some days. There were no Metro services for 169 days. Even after Metro services resumed this year, the footfall was around two lakh in February 2021. Later, it fell to half and now has one lakh passengers a day,” a senior CMO official, quoted in the report, said.

Hyderabad Metro Rail project was India’s first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) metro project, with the state government holding a minority equity stake. Inaugurated in 2017 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is also the second-longest operational metro network in the country.

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