With the first phase of Hyderabad Metro Rail ready for inauguration on November 28, construction major Larsen & Toubro on Saturday said that it is ready to pitch for the second phase proposed by the Telangana government.
The 30 km-stretch of the total 72-km-long project is ready for launch by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 28. The remaining stretch of the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) project is expected to be commissioned by the end of next year.
Telangana Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao on Saturday said the government had started talks for expanding the metro. He told reporters that he will be visiting Japan in January next year to hold talks with Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA).
Shivanand Nimbargi, MD & CEO, L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Ltd (LTMRHL) said they would definitely look at the second phase.
"Phase two will be taken up by the government. They are doing pre-feasibility studies. As and when the government finalises the alignment and how the bid should be, we will definitely look at it. We would like to participate in it," he said.
He said since L&T was already here, it would definitely look at the second phase. The company is already helping the government in pre-feasibility studies with its technical inputs.
"We are in the initial stage. We are doing studies and exploring different possibilities and financial opportunities including JICA," said NVS Reddy, Managing Director, Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) Ltd.
Reddy, along with two other top government officials, recently visited Japan to hold preliminary talks with JICA.
The state government said last week that it is considering a new proposal where 60 per cent of the cost for the metro project can be met through external loans while the Centre and the state governments can bear 20 per cent cost each.
Under the second phase, the government proposes to expand metro up to Hyderabad Airport and connect the city to neighbouring towns.
Meanwhile, a 30-km stretch from Nagole to Miyapur is all set for inauguration. The original construction period for the elevated metro ended in July this year but the project could not be completed due to various reasons and the developer was granted a 17-month extension.
The entire project, barring 5-km stretch in the Old City and about 1 km stretch between Hitec city and Raidurg, is now likely to completed by the end of 2018.
Billed as the world's biggest metro rail project in PPP, it was taken up in 2012 at a cost of Rs 14,132 crore.
Both the minister and L&T officials, while confirming the cost overruns, declined to give a figure or comment further, saying they were trying to solve the issue through talks.