Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lok Satta decries KCR’s threat to Demolish Metro Rail stretches

The Lok Satta Party today took strong exception to TRS President K. Chandrasekhara Rao’s reported threat to demolish Metro Rail in certain stretches. It amounts to cutting the face to spite the nose, commented State Lok Satta Party President Katari Srinivasa Rao at a media conference here today.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao said he is glad that the TRS, which had not contested even a single seat in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections in 2009 is focusing on city residents’ problems at least now. People, however, expect the TRS to play a constructive and not a destructive role.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao recalled that KCR himself acknowledged that it takes three hours by road to attend a wedding in Hyderabad where one spends hardly a few minutes. Does KCR plan to subject lakhs of daily commuters to greater suffering by derailing a modern transport system like Metro Rail, he asked.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao pointed out that traffic problems in some metropolises have acted as a dampener on new investments. In contrast, Metro Rail in Hyderabad is progressing at a brisk pace in Hyderabad although the entire State is regressing because of paralysis in administration. People who were taken aback by the crash of a section of the Punjagutta flyover under construction in the past are happy over the way Metro Rail Works are being carried out. In fact, thee are demands for extension of Metro Rail to places like Lingampalli and Vanasthalipuram.

Referring to KCR’s demand for taking up Metro Rail works underground at places like Sultan Bazar, Mojamjahi Market and the Assembly, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that according to experts an underground railway system causes more vibrations than one above the ground.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that underground construction costs Rs.500 crore per km as against only Rs.200 crore for overground construction, takes up to four to five years and results in permanent closure of certain road stretches. Protecting a heritage building like that of the Assembly is important, Mr. Srinivasa Rao conceded, but added that dignified discussions in the House would have enhanced its prestige more.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that KCR need not wait for Telangana formation if either the Chief Minister or L & T, the Metro Rail builder, has indulged in irregularities or corruption. He can expose them straightway and seek legal remdies including entrustment of the work to another agency. He need not indulge in demolition talk.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that people all over the State in almost all spheres have become victims of corruption and extortion. Corruption can be eradicated only if a strong Lokayukta is instituted and steps taken for swift punishment of the guilty including confiscation of their ill-gotten wealth. KCR should mobilize political support for the amendment proposed by Lok Satta Party legislator and Lok Satta Party national President to the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao congratulated ISRO scientists on successfully placing Mars Orbiter in the earth’s orbit.

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