Hyderabad (Metro Rail News): As a result of nationwide lockdown, the Hyderabad Metro officials had to suspend its operations on May 22. However, no one knew that it would take such a long time for operations to resume again. Metro operations across the country continue to remain suspended owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Hyderabad Metro officials are eagerly waiting for the Centre’s nod to begin operations.
L&T operates the Hyderabad Metro Rail project. According to the annual report of L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited, the revenue from operations and other income for the financial year 2019-2020 under review stood at Rs. 598.20 crores (including fare and non-fare revenue). This means Rs 1.63 crore was the daily revenue generated in the 2019-2020 financial year. Until Saturday, L&T has its operations suspended for a total of 160 days and counting, which translates to an estimated loss of more than Rs 260 crore.
In the annual report, it is also mentioned, “The impact of the lockdown owing to COVID-19 pandemic currently can’t be assessed as on the date of closing of the books of accounts as the lockdown is still continuing and there is no clarity on the resumption of operations and amidst with what restrictions. Also, the consequent impact on the financial position and results of the Company for future periods cannot be assessed at present.”
With around 160 days having passed since the Metro operations were suspended in Hyderabad, the L&T staff are eagerly waiting for the Centre’s nod for operations to begin. “We are waiting for the required permissions to begin operations. Even if asked to resume operations from tomorrow, we are ready”, said one official.
While the losses are mounting, it is important to point out that it is likely that L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited may invoke the force majeure clauses of the Concession Agreement. In the annual report it is mentioned that the company is protected by the force majeure clauses of the Concession Agreement.