Hyderabad-Warangal RRTS: A Regional Transport System to Reduce Road Congestion

Promoting sustainable growth by expanding transportation infrastructure in Telangana

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Introduction

Hyderabad is the country’s industrial hub, with industries spanning areas such as information technology, pharmaceuticals, automobile and defence equipment manufacturing. Hyderabad has grown exponentially during the last few decades. It is essential to diversify new investments in the state to tier 2 cities in order to develop a sustainable environment. The state’s key tier 2 cities, including Warangal, Nizamabad, and Khammam, have all of the resources and opportunities to become the state’s future growth centre. Access to Hyderabad from these cities will be seamless and quick, promoting the region’s holistic and comprehensive growth. Semi-high-speed rail connectivity can be investigated to give improved and better connectivity.

A semi-high-speed rail system connecting peripheral areas to the metropolitan region shall help Tier 2 cities to develop as economic centres. The system with high-speed connectivity would assure new investments in these cities and will gradually improve metropolitan living standards due to a reduction in the arrival of the migrants from Tier 2 cities to metropolitans. The GoTs has planned to explore the feasibility of a semi-high-speed rail system connecting Hyderabad to Warangal and Vijayawada in the first phase. The tender has been invited by HUMTA/HMDA for selecting consultants to carry out the ‘Pre-feasibility Study of Semi High-Speed Rail System in Telangana.’

Hyderabad Metro

The Hyderabad Metro is a rapid transit system that serves the city of Hyderabad, Telangana. After Delhi Metro and Namma Metro, it is India’s third-longest operational metro network, with lines structured on a secant model. It is funded through a public-private partnership (PPP), with the state government owning a minority stake. Based on DBFOT, Hyderabad Metro is the world’s largest elevated Metro Rail system. (Design, Built, Finance, Operate and Transfer). The construction firm L&T established a special purpose vehicle company, L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Ltd (L&TMRHL), to develop the Hyderabad metro rail project.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a 30-kilometre line with 24 stations from Miyapur to Nagole on November 28, 2017. This was India’s longest rapid transit metro line to be opened in a single stretch. It is expected to cost Rs. 18,800 crores. During morning and evening rush hours, trains are generally crowded. All trains now include a ladies-only coach since May 7, 2018. Hyderabad Metro had an average ridership of 4,50,000 passengers daily post-covid, by December 2022. At the Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum in New York in February-March 2013, the HMR project was highlighted as one of the top 100 strategic global infrastructure projects. L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited (LTMRHL) received the SAP ACE Award 2015 in the ‘Strategic HR and Talent Management category.

Rasoolpura, Paradise, and Prakash Nagar Metro stations were honoured with the Indian Green Building Council’s (IGBC) Green MRTS Platinum Award in 2018. In November 2018, the Government of India declared the Hyderabad Metro the Best Urban Mass Transit Project. Durgam Cheruvu, Punjagutta, and LB Nagar metro stations in Hyderabad received Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) Green MRTS Certification with the highest platinum grade under elevated stations category in October 2022. With this, Hyderabad Metro Rail now has 23 metro stations certified with the IGBC Platinum grade certification.

Warangal

According to the 2011 census, Warangal is the second largest city in Telangana, with a population of over seven lakh people. The city covers an area of more than 400 km. It is one of eleven cities in the country designated by the Government of India for the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana initiative. It was also chosen as a smart city in the ‘fast-track competition,’ making it eligible for additional investment to develop an urban infrastructure and industrial possibilities under the Smart Cities Mission.

The Warangal Tri-City consists of three urban cities: Kazipet, Hanamkonda, and Warangal. The National Highway 163 connects the three cities. (Hyderabad–Bhuvanagiri–Warangal–Bhopalpatnam). Kazipet Junction railway station and Warangal railway station are the major stations. According to the 2011 census, Warangal is one of the Indian cities that has undergone rapid urbanisation rising from 19% to 28%, along with places such as Gandhinagar and Kozhikode.

Agriculture is the principal economic activity, with irrigation primarily dependent on monsoon and seasonal rainfalls. Paddy, cotton, mango, and wheat are the major crops. The Godavari lift irrigation plan, which is designed to lift water from the Godavari River and irrigate drought-prone districts in Telangana, benefits Warangal. The city is home to Asia’s second-largest grain market, which is located in Enumamula. Another industry in which the city is making steady progress with its Incubation hub at Madikonda is information technology. Tech Mahindra and Cyient have launched their development centres, and many more IT companies, such as Mindtree and Quadrant Resource, will be opening offices soon.

Warangal Metro

Warangal Metro, also known as Metro NEO, is a bus rapid transit system proposed by Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) to be developed in Warangal, Kazipet, and Hanamkonda in Telangana. This system’s electric bus coaches, similar to Nasik Metro Neo, will be 25 metres long, travel on rubber wheels, and have a maximum capacity of 250 passengers at a time. The total system capacity is projected to be 15000 PPHPD. (Passengers Per Hour Per Direction). Coaches will be powered by an overhead electrical (OHE) system on elevated sections and by battery power on at-grade (road) sections.

The detailed project report (DPR) for Warangal Metro NEO Phase 1 was prepared by Urban Mass Transport Company Limited in collaboration with Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha-Metro), which was hired by GWMC to assist with project preparation. GWMC is currently finalising the project’s proposal and route with input from other stakeholders such as TSRTC, Police, Transport, and NPDCL. Following completion, it will be submitted to the state government for approval. The project is expected to cost Rs. 1100 crore. The project’s deadline and completion date have yet to be disclosed.

Key Information

Operational: 0 km

Under Construction: 0 km

Approved: 0 km

Proposed: 17 km

Line-1: Kazipet Junction – Warangal Railway Station

  • Length: 17 km
  • Type: Elevated & At-Grade
  • Depots: Not Revealed
  • Number of Stations: Not Revealed
  • Station Names: Not Revealed

Petrol Pump, Hanamkonda Chowrasta, Mulugu Road, MGM Centre, Pochamma Maidan, Kashibugga, and Venkatrama Junction are among the catchment areas and route points.

Hyderabad-Warangal RRTS  

The Telangana government intends to construct a semi-high-speed rail link between Warangal and Vijayawada. The Hyderabad Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (HUMTA), a division of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), has requested bids from experienced companies to conduct a pre-feasibility study for the projected semi-high-speed rail connectivity in the two corridors. For intra-regional passenger movement, the proposal would provide rapid, safe, and comfortable commuting services at a reasonable fare. The corridors have been recommended because passenger traffic is heavy on these two corridors. The semi-high-speed rail system differs from traditional railways in a way that it will enable dependable, frequent point-to-point regional movement along a dedicated channel. The goal of this system is to lessen commuters’ reliance on road transportation.

Following the success of the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) operations in three city corridors, the Telangana government is now proposing to prioritise Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) in two corridors — Hyderabad-Warangal and Hyderabad-Vijayawada — maintaining a conformity to the lines of the National Capital Region (NCR), which is a multi-state region with New Delhi as its focal point.

For intra-regional passenger movement, the RRTS network would provide rapid, safe, and comfortable commuter services at a reasonable fare. To push the RRTS project in the state, officials are taking learning notes from Delhi-Meerut RRTS and Regional Rapid Transit development made by Kerala, Odisha and other states by visiting these transport systems. The visit of the officials will help expedite the project faster, avoiding the mistakes that have been faced in prior RRTS projects.    

Conclusion

The Telangana government has planned two RRTS corridors between Hyderabad-Warangal and Hyderabad-Vijayawada. The movement of passengers is high in these two corridors. Therefore, the routes have been selected. The RRTS will be different from the conventional railway in a way that it shall provide reliable, high-frequency, point-to-point regional travel at high speed of 180 kmph along a dedicated pathway to the passengers and travellers using this transport system. The RRTS is also different from the conventional suburban railway and Metro system as it meets the requirement and caters to the need of passengers looking to travel longer distances. The project is expected to be cost-intensive. It shall also require extensive inter-ministerial consultations and their approval depending on the feasibility of projects and the availability of resources. The allocation of funds and construction of the project will be undertaken once the project is approved.

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