Again concession agreement, between Hyderabad Metro Rail and government comes into discussion. HMR says it was promised at cost electricity. “L&T-HMRL representatives who filed a petition before Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) urging it to direct the Discom to honour the Concession Agreement provisions said the calculation of cost of power supply to metro rail actually works out to Rs 5.38 to Rs 5.42 per unit.”
DISCOMs proposed a separate category for HMR at Rs.7.08. For railway traction, which includes Indian Railways, tariff in latest ARR proposals is Rs.7.48 per unit. HMR got a concession at Rs.7.08. HMR much lesser price. However, TSERC is yet to take a decision. It has to take a decision on creating a separate category, and also per unit price. It remains who will pick up the balance bill, State government, or cross-subsidies.
However, a question which was raised by me before TSERC, and which is not likely to come up with any answer, why there is differential pricing between HMR and Indian Railways? Indian Railways does much more public service than HMR. Even before starting its service, HMR is looking for concession. It says electricity cost would be 35 percent of its expenditure. It is against their word, as there is no independent information available on this. HMR is already getting lot of concessions. It is time this CONCESSION AGREEMENT is put out in the public domain. Government should come out with a comprehensive document detailing all the concessions given to it, in the past, present and in future. Ticket price fixation has to be done by a independent committee, that should have access to all expenditure records and claims. Ticket price fixation has to be transparent. Indian Railways should be treated on par with HMR, especially MMTS services in Hyderabad, should get same priority and concessions.
“ Minister for municipal administration and urban development, K.T. Rama Rao, … said the fares had been initially fixed in the price band of Rs 8 to Rs 19 in April 2011, these would now go up to Rs 13 to Rs 25 as per present costs.” CAG audit has to be done before these prices are agreed. Price increase announcement, without any explanation, can be seen as legitimisation of the project delays, and attempt to condone lack of accountability.
MMTS has always been a cheaper option for Hyderabad. Past and current government decisions are building a loadstone around the neck of Hyderabad finances, making the city ugly and allowing money-making at the cost of public resources. All this without any change, difference or solution to traffic woes of ordinary citizens of Hyderabad.