news Saturday, October 04, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute| September 17, 2014| 10.00 pm IST  Larsen & Toubro Wednesday said it is committed to completing the Hyderabad Metro rail project expeditiously as per schedule with all support from the Telangana government. After a meeting with Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited (LTMRHL) chief executive and managing director V.B. Gadgil said it was unfortunate that a section of media choose to publish a letter written by him to the government in a manner which could be damaging for this very prestigious project. Stating that the correspondence between the two parties is quite normal for a massive project of this nature, Gadgil urged the media to show restraint on such selective disclosure without proper context. He said the Sep 10 letter is a part of the long correspondence between L&T and the then government of Andhra Pradesh and now with the government of Telangana. "The progress so far is the fastest in the metro sector in the country in spite of various challenges met during execution," said a statement by LTMRHL. Earlier, Telangana government officials said the project is on track and that L&T has not threatened to pull out. Gadgil's meeting with the chief secretary came after Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) managing director N.V.S. Reddy called on Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and the chief secretary. HMR is a Telangana government agency while LTMRHL is a concessionaire developing 72-km long elevated Metro project at a cost of Rs.14,132 crore. Gagdil in his letter sought clarity on change of alignment proposed by the chief minister on two corridors. He said the work was stopped at two places for last several weeks and this was causing a loss of Rs.2 crore a day. LTMRHL said there is no official communication for change of alignment and the stoppage of the work was delaying the project. Gadgil earlier this month stated that the project is in a "very precarious mode". He said the project cost has escalated by Rs.2,500 crore to Rs.3,000 crore due to inflation, hike in interest rates and other factors. The developer has so far spent Rs.5,000 crore on the project. It has completed 28 percent of the work. Meanwhile, the chief minister Wednesday reviewed the progress of the project with top officials. A statement from the chief minister's office described a report published in couple of newspapers as an attempt to damage the interests of Telangana state. It said though correspondence between the L&T and Hyderabad Metro Rail is a routine thing, the newspapers published the latest correspondence mischievously and in isolation. The statement said the issue has been resolved with the involvement of officials of L&T, HMR, chief secretary and other officials. According to the statement, chief minister's advisor Papa Rao and chief secretary will visit Delhi to take forward the proposal for second phase of the metro. They will discuss with the officials of the central government and will also seek advice from acclaimed metro rail expert E. Sridharan.

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