Hyderabad: Every week when Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma holds the special task force meeting to check on the progress of the metro rail project, the sticking sore thumb continues to be properties acquisition and sites caught in legal tangles.
The Government and metro rail authorities did manage to acquire several properties over the years of the 1,500-odd buildings across the three corridors, yet at certain key sections construction had to be suspended because of delays in properties acquisition.
Metro rail authorities point out there are at least three prominent obstacles holding up works. These include a 1,500 sq. yard plot belonging to a big time infrastructure player at Road No.5 Jubilee Hills, an acre of empty site at Yousufguda and portion of a private building at Begumpet that force authorities to “stop work”.
All these are part of the 55 cases held in the courts though officials insist Government’s legal eagles have been on the job. “We are unable to take up piers at a few places and lay the viaduct atop the piers at a few other sites due to the delays in taking over properties,” confesses Hyderabad Metro Rail managing director N.V.S. Reddy.
There are also 63 other private properties which have to be acquired by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and handed over to metro rail authorities. Then, 23 Government Vested Municipal (GVM) properties – government lands but in possession of private parties for three or more decades, mostly at Ameerpet, Musheerabad and Narayanaguda are still to be acquired.
Altogether the Government will be spending close to Rs.2,000 crore for properties compensation, shifting of utilities, reconstruction of demolished Government structures as well as for depots at Miyapur and Nagole.