The upcoming Airport Metro in Hyderabad will not be an extension of the existing Blue Line but an entirely new, specialised corridor that would allow air passengers to check in and part with their baggage at the Metro station itself, said N V S Reddy, managing director of Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd (HMRL) Tuesday.
The Airport Metro, recently announced by the Telangana government, will help passengers directly reach the boarding gates at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad from near Raidurg Metro station, 31 km away.
Reddy was speaking at an event to commemorate five years of operation of HMRL along with project concessionaire L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Ltd (LTMRHL). The operations commenced on November 28, 2017, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao taking a ride on the 30-km Nagole to Miyapur corridor. Recalling the day, Reddy said over 2 lakh passengers travelled on the first day of operations, which is still a record.
According to him, the new Airport Metro project would be completed in three years and air passengers need not worry about their baggage when they travel from Mindspace Junction to the airport as there would be a direct connection from the proposed underground Metro station to their respective boarding gates.
The state government recently announced that Rao would lay the foundation for the Airport Metro on December 9 and that the project would be fully funded by the state government unlike the existing network of 69 km, which is the world’s largest Metro rail project in public-private partnership.
Reddy thanked the LTMRHL for withstanding the losses incurred during the pandemic-induced lockdown and bouncing back to pre-Covid levels in terms of ridership. LTMRHL managing director K V B Reddy said a total of 31 crore passengers have travelled by Hyderabad Metro to date and on Monday alone, 4.40 lakh passengers took the metro rail.
At present, HMRL and LTMRHL operate three corridors covering 69 km with 57 Metro stations, while the metro rail works from MGBS-Imlibun to Falaknuma – a 5.5 km stretch on the Green Line originally planned from Jubilee Bus Station in Secunderabad to Falaknuma – has not started for various reasons.
Besides, as part of phase 2 of the Hyderabad Metro, the state government has already urged the Centre for in-principle approval for Miyapur and BHEL to Lakdikapul corridor (26 km) and connection between Nagole to LB Nagar (5 km), costing Rs 8,453 crore as a jointly owned project of the Government of India (GoI) and Government of Telangana State (GoTS) with external financial assistance.