Hyderabad metro running on losses


HYDERABAD: Metro Rail MD NVS Reddy said that L&T Metro project is running in losses. Reacting to allegations of Hyderabad Intellectuals, a forum on Twitter, which alleged that “the Metro project has been reduced to world-class real estate project, and L&T is milking the project as they want,” Reddy said that L&T was losing money in the project. 

Reddy said that Rs 1,300 crores per annum is the interest burden alone on the Hyderabad Metro project. They have built only 1.2 million sq ft so far as against eligible 18.5 million sq ft. Metros all over the world lose money and are heavily subsidised by governments. L&T has spent about Rs 16,000 crores on the project in which the viability gap funding is Rs 1,200 crores from the Centre. The rest, Rs 14,800 crores was spent by L&T, of which Rs 3,000 crores is equity and Rs 12,000 crores debt. 

Reddy also said that there are around 200 Metro projects in the world, and no Metro is making any profit. Governments subsidise Metro projects for survival and for increasing livability condition of the city. In public-private partnerships, there are four or five attempts made, including Bangkok Metro, which is 35-km long, the biggest in PPP mode. The financially successful Metros such as the ones in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Taipei are originally built by governments and handed over to the private sectors. India has now adopted the same.

He added that 50% of the revenue came from passenger fare, 45% from property development, and 5% from advertisements. As per the original financial model, Metro will run into losses for five to six years, and break-even only in the seventh year that is 2025. Currently, revenue is Rs 1 crore per day. 

When it came to the number of passengers, Reddy said compared to other Metros, Hyderabad was doing much better. In Chennai, even after four to five years and with several incentives, there are only 50,000 to 60,000 passengers a day. After seven years of Bengaluru Metro, the figure has now reached to four lakh a day. Hyderabad Metro will reach four to five lakh passenger figures in the next year.

Reddy said that the real estate projects in Panjagutta, Irrum Manzil, Hitech City and now in Moosarambagh. They are all doing well so far.

Hyderabad Intellectuals replied to Reddy, saying, “If L&T Hyderabad Metro project is losing money, why subsidise such huge values of public property for an unviable project? 1.2 million sft itself looks huge, 18.5 m sft would be staggering. If values calculated for 33 years of the lease, it’s definitely profitable multiple times.” 

Source: Times of India