The green alternative for the city transportation needs, the Hyderabad Metro Rail project, has been causing enormous fuel wastage for many a commuter travelling to and from Malakpet, Dilsukhnagar and beyond, by practically blocking the National Highway – 65 (old No.9) between Malakpet and Chaderghat.
The brief stretch of not more than a kilometre is resulting in tedious delays of close to an hour during the peak traffic, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to beyond 10 p.m. Some times, even midnight traffic is severely hampered, owing to heavy vehicles and outbound passenger buses.
“Besides spiralling fuel consumption, it also means a wait in the traffic amid fumes for greater part of the travel. The condition is going from bad to worse,” complains an annoyed IT employee Radhika Sundar from Kamalapuri Colony.
Delays are proving to be heavy on the wallets too, as the cab charges rise with the time taken for the travel, she says.
“Once, a diversion from Moosarambagh, via Golnaka and Kacheguda cost me 50 per cent more than the regular fare,” she says.
Auto drivers either refuse to ply to the destinations which force them to take the route, or charge a bomb.
The situation has not improved for months, even as many commuters who own vehicles are exploring alternative routes.
“I used the stretch to reach my office at Abids till three months ago. Not any more. Though it is an extra kilometre-and-a-half on fuel, I’m using the Musarambagh route now,” says P.V. Chowdary, a businessman.
The heavy traffic is also causing untold hardships to railway passengers alighting at Malakpet. Bus stop was moved to facilitate the works, which necessitates waddling through traffic beneath the under-bridge without a footpath.
“The works began more than two years ago, if I remember correctly. When traffic jams and restrictions began initially, we assumed that they could last for a maximum of six months. But the works are continuing endlessly,” Mr. Chowdary complains. Hyderabad Metro Rail Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy, however, assures people of completing the works within three-and-a-half months from now. Traffic diversions have been imposed recently, with the outgoing buses and heavy vehicles routed via Nimboli Adda and the incoming ones redirected over the flyover to Darushifa Junction and MGBS. Smaller vehicles are being diverted via Azampura underpass to reach Chaderghat Circle, he says.
However, the diversions are bound to cost heavily not only on the wallets, but also on the clocks, as they are causing ripple effect elsewhere.
“It is a complicated design work at Malakpet, and requires to be built over the under-bridge. The viaduct and station itself would take two years if the work goes on without a break. In other cities such as Chennai and Bangalore, the stretches were closed down for traffic. Here, 80 per cent of the work is done through prefabrication of blocks,” Mr. Reddy says.