Hyderabad, November 28: Former Minister & TPCC Political Affairs Committee Convener Mohammed Ali Shabbir has accused TRS Govt of deliberately neglecting the Old City of Hyderabad by depriving it of metro rail connectivity.
“We welcome the State Government’s proposal for the establishment of a 31-km long Airport Express Corridor although we suspect its completion as Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao only believes in laying foundation stones and not actual completion of projects. KCR Govt holds a record for the highest number of incomplete projects. However, before laying the foundation stone for this project, CM KCR must clarify why the metro rail works in the Old City of Hyderabad have not started?” he asked.
Shabbir Ali, in a media statement on Monday, said that the previous Congress Govt introduced Metro Rail in Hyderabad. “As the Hyderabad District Incharge Minister in Dr Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy’s cabinet, I was part of the foundation stone laying ceremony for HMRL in October 2005. The project would’ve been completed on time, but KCR Govt delayed it by raising unnecessary objections on the route. Originally, it was proposed to connect the Old City with the metro rail from Jubilee Bus Station in Secunderabad to Falaknuma. As TRS and MIM never wanted the Old City to develop, they ensured that the proposal remained on paper,” he alleged.
The Congress leader said that the metro rail in the Old City gets discussed in every Assembly session to cheat the people. MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi raises the issue of delay in the metro rail project in the Old City and CM KCR or his son and minister KTR gives an assurance that the works would be hastened up. Once the Assembly session is over, they forget about it and don’t talk about it till the next session. This has happened at least 20 times in the last eight years, he alleged.
Shabbir Ali said there were reports of the State Government allocating Rs. 500 crores to the HMRL to take up works on the long-pending 5.5 km stretch connecting MGBS-Imlibun to Falaknuma on Corridor-II in the financial year 2022-23. But in reality, nothing has been done to ground the project. “TRS Govt could not bring metro rail on a small stretch of 5.5 km in the Old City for Rs. 500 crores. But now it is promising to establish a 31-km Airport Express Corridor in the Hitech City for Rs. Rs.6,250 crores. This clearly shows the discriminatory approach of TRS Govt towards the Old City and its people,” he said.
The Congress leader alleged that the TRS Govt, in connivance with the MIM, has been neglecting the Old City of Hyderabad. Not a single institution that serves the people of Old City was provided funds or staff. The Setwin, a self-employment training agency, is headless since 2018. It has become almost defunct. Similarly, no funds or projects have been allocated to Quli Qutub Shah Urban Development Authority after TRS came to power in 2014. Many institutions have been reduced to letter-head entities with no staff, funds or projects, he alleged.
Shabbir Ali also questioned the silence of MIM, which claims to be an ally of TRS, on the discriminatory approach of KCR Govt towards the Old City. “Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency is represented by MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi and six out of 7 MIM MLAs are from the Old City. Why are they not holding a protest against this discrimination by the TRS Govt?” he asked.
He demanded that CM KCR apologise to the people of Old City for the delay in metro rail connectivity and also give a deadline for the completion of the 5.5 km stretch connecting MGBS-Imlibun to Falaknuma. Further, the connectivity should be extended from Falaknuma to Shamshabad Airport, he demanded.