Hyderabad Metro Rail project – An Overview

Urban Transport systems in large developing cities face major challenges due to the continuous growth of urban population, private vehicle ownership, congestion, and the fragility of public transportation systems. And such strain on urban transport system directly impact households, businesses and urban community at large. Transport may become a binding constraint on both economic growth and social development and inclusion, along with increased negative impacts on health and environment.

Air pollution has become a serious problem these days and transportation has added much to it. Cities on the fast track towards urbanisation are no exception to this problem. Industrial pollution, automobile pollution, commercial pollutants, and pollutants from manufacturing units and biomass combustion are affecting the overall well-being of the residents and also impacting productivity levels of the employed and business profits tend to go downhill on account of this.

As cities become the engines of economic growth, city officials and decision makers face a challenging task of developing and maintaining efficient urban transport systems. These systems has a herculean task of addressing issues like severe congestion, deteriorating air quality, energy sustainability, and increasing numbers of road accidents.  Planning for the right urban transport management is complex.

It involves more than choosing technologies and considering a variety of factors such as affordability, local culture, environmental issues, financing, energy use, and impacts on special populations such as the women, children, senior and differently abled citizens. It has to understand linkages with land use, human behaviour, affordability, and the environment, and needs to ensure financial sustainability.

Greater Hyderabad is a mega city that covers 625 sq. km. of municipal corporation area and 6,852 sq. km. of metropolitan area. It is fast emerging as the hub of IT/ITES, Biotech, Pharma and Tourism sectors. Its strategic geographical location, multilingual and cosmopolitan culture, tremendous growth potential and investment-friendly economic policy are all making it an attractive destination for corporate, entrepreneurs, academicians and homemakers alike.  

Hyderabad City : 

  • Hyderabad city’s population stands at 10 million and is projected to touch 13.6 million by 2021.
  • Currently, over 5 million personalised vehicles ply on Hyderabad roads, with an addition of 0.50 million vehicles every year.
  • 7 million motorised trips are made every day, of which, only about 3.2 million or 40% are made by the Public Transportation System (PTS) i.e. buses and local trains. That means the rest of the trips are made by personal vehicles leading to traffic bottlenecks, high pollution levels and a steep increase in fuel consumption.
  • A people-friendly city is that which provides a good quality of life. An efficient, safe, reliable and comfortable public transportation system is one of the pre-requisites of good living.
  • The increasing pressure of the burgeoning population is putting Hyderabad’s Transportation System under constant pressure. The need of the hour is a robust system that is dependable, comfortable, affordable and sustainable.

And in any rapidly growing urban city, transportation becomes a major challenge and Hyderabad has not been an exception to this rule. 

Hyderabad Metro Rail project: 

There are about 200 urban Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) systems across the globe. But for about half a dozen built in PPP mode, all the other mass transit systems world over have been built by Governments utilising tax payers’ money and are capital intensive projects. Though they have been making losses, they are essential for better air quality, liveability and competitiveness of cities.  And out of these only 4 (Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taipei) metro projects are making profits, as these successful systems get a substantial part of their revenue from property development at Metro stations and depots.

To address the increasing traffic congestion and pollution levels in Hyderabad city, Government of Telangana has undertaken the Hyderabad Metro Rail project .

Covering three high density traffic corridors of the city spanning 72 km., the project is being executed in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis. Of the total cost of Rs. 14,132 crore (USD 2.36 bn), Government of India has sanctioned Rs. 1,458 crore (USD 0.24 bn) (10%) as one time capital grant on the basis of competitive bidding. The remaining Rs. 12,674 crore (USD 2.12 bn) is being invested by the Concessionaire M/s L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Ltd., a special purpose company of the Indian Infrastructure and Manufacturing giant L&T.

The project works are being executed as per international standards with emphasis on design innovation, high quality and stringent safety standards. The pillars, viaduct and stations of this completely elevated Metro Rail are being designed aesthetically to enhance the beauty of the city, The station design is unique with special emphasis on sleek look, natural ventilation and energy conservation. The project is being implemented not as a simple ‘Transit’ project but ‘Transit +’ project transform Hyderabad into an efficient city with low carbon footprint.

The project will also transform this dynamic city Hyderabad into a people friendly green city with emphasis on inter-modal connectivity to main rail terminals, bus stations and dedicated feeder bus services for ‘seamless travel’. The pedestrian facilities, bicycle tracks, walkways and street furniture incorporated in this project will enhance the quality of life in Hyderabad and make it a globally competitive city.


PPP Project :

Financial innovation is a key element in the conversion of   Hyderabad Metro Rail project from Government model to PPP model.   The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Project which was originally conceived as a government project indicated a total land requirement of 269 acre (109 hectare) for establishment of three Depots and creation of Parking and Circulation (P&C) areas at select Metro stations.    Without increasing the land requirement, the PPP format allowed commercial exploitation of air space over the land parcels identified for the Depots and   P&C areas through financial and  engineering  innovation.   

The Concession Agreement allows development of property over land parcels up to a maximum of 18.5 million Sq. ft. of built up area within the local municipal bye-laws.   Whilst the ground floor at P&C areas of the stations shall be exclusively used for P&C purpose, the Concessionaire is permitted to commercially exploit air space for property development.   Similarly, while 70% of the ground space of the three Depots shall be exclusively used for constructing the rail facilities, the remaining 30% of the Depot lands can be used for property development by the Concessionaire.  The Concessionaire cannot sell the properties so developed by him, but can only enjoy the lease rentals during the Concession Period which is 35 years and extendable by another 25 years.

As per the revenue model, broadly 50% of the revenue comes from passenger fares, 45% from property development and 5% from advertisements and other miscellaneous sources. Special provisions have been incorporated in the local municipal bye-laws to incentivize densification along the mass transit corridors to encourage Transit Oriented Development (TOD). The Hyderabad Metro stations and Depots will have mega shopping malls, multiplexes, office/commercial spaces, hotels, restaurants, clinics/diagnostic centres, convention centres, entertainment centres, bank branches, ‘A to Z’ shops etc., and will become hubs of activity in the city.   Practically everything that is required for the day to day needs of the people will be available at the Metro locations and these will substantially increase the ridership; and the high foot falls in turn will increase the rental values of the property being developed at the metro facilities.

Expected To Carry 17 Lakh Passengers per day by 2017 and 22 lakh by 2024 : 

The Hyderabad Metro Rail project is designed to cater to 85,000 PHPDT across all the three corridors.  The two tracks (up and down lines) are built on a deck erected on pillars in the central median of the road, without obstructing the road traffic and each track is equivalent to 7 bus lanes or 24 car lanes in terms of capacity. Stations are located at an average interval of 1KM – elevated stations with passenger access through staircases, escalators and lifts. Each station has adequate parking space and circulating areas are being provided for multi modal integration.  Pedestrian facilities from the road to the concourse/car park and/or to the ticket counters and back shall have been provided to enable unhindered smooth flow of pedestrians using the Metro and making the commuting experience comfortable. Facilities for disabled are provided at all stations for their safe movement from parking areas to the platforms and back. Lifts and escalators are also provided at Stations for the use of passengers including the physically challenged.

With a frequency of 3 to 5 minutes during peak hours, the system is expected to carry about 17 lakh passengers per day by 2017 and 22 lakh by 2024. As against the current average vehicular speed of 8 kmph, the Metro Rail is capable of a maximum speed of 80 kmph and the average speed of the trains will be 34 kmph – an international standard for MRT systems. Owing to this speed, the travel time by metro rail from one end to another will be as:

  • 45 minutes for Corridor I (Miyapur-L.B.Nagar – 29Kms) as against 1 hr 46 minutes by bus.
  • 22 minutes for Corridor II (Jubilee Bus Station-Falaknuma-15 Kms) as against 1 hr 10 minutes by bus.
  • and 39 minutes for Corridor III (Nagole-Raidurg-28 Kms) as against 1 hr 26 minutes by bus.

Ticketing Solution : 

The ticketing solution proposed for Hyderabad Metro Rail is a state of the art Automated Fare Collection System based on Contactless Fare Media Technology featuring technologies best suited for MRTS and recognised world-over. The system is integrated to web application to top-up the contactless smart card through internet. The System accepts banknotes, coins, bank cards (credit/debit) and smart cards as a payment mechanism. The Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) are facilitated with Coin recyclers and Bank Note recyclers. Near field communication (NFC) protocol is also featured enabling commuters access through smart phones.

Hyderabad Metro would be first in India to claim train control by CBTC technology. The advanced signalling & Train Control technology, Communication Based Train Control (CBTC), is adopted for Hyderabad Metro to control the trains. Advanced braking system  in Metro Rail rolling stock enables 35% power regeneration and feeding it back for utilization in the system, thereby further reducing carbon footprint.

The trains running on three corridors will be controlled and monitored from state-of-the-art Operation Control Centre (OCC). The trains can run with headway of 90 Sec to tackle commuters during office peak hours in morning and in evening. The overview display panel will mimic all three corridors and indicate current locations of all trains running on these corridors. The OCC shall be the primary control centre having a back-up control centre at Uppal depot to take over the operation if the OCC to be evacuated due to unforeseen situation.

Benefits to the Citizens :

Hyderabad Metro Rail is designed in a robust way to provide socio-economic benefits and equal opportunities in public spaces to all citizens, thereby facilitating equitable and sustainable improvements to the overall living standards of the citizens. Hyderabad Metro Rail offers multiple advantages like minimising the number of road accidents, elimination of travel related stress & fatigue and reduces dust & pollution. The project provides skywalks below the elevated viaduct to give direct landing into schools, colleges, hospitals, offices and other public and private buildings to provide safety and security; safe FoBs for Junction crossing; thereby building one Hyderabad at road level and another Hyderabad at elevated level.  “Merry-go-round” dedicated feeder bus services, bicycles and other non-polluting last mile connectivity facilities at Metro stations, pedestrian facilities, aesthetic Metro station surroundings with lots of greenery, street furniture, public art etc., will be HMR’s  contribution to the efforts to make Hyderabad a GLOBAL CITY as being envisioned by the Chief Minister of Telangana, Mr. K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

HMR- Landscaping and street furniture at Parade Grounds

Building a project of this scale in the highly congested roads of Hyderabad is a great challenge.  Tackling sensitive structures, carefully handling different interest groups, persuading property owners to part with the affected properties for widening of roads to create right of way for the project are the main non-engineering challenges. Engineering challenges are resolved by converting 85% of the project works into “precast” mode. Most of the works are done at the casting yards on the outskirts of the city (at Uppal and Qutbullapur casting yards) and are brought to the site during night time to manage traffic during Metro construction.  The station construction also has been made “pre-casting” type.  For the first time, the entire elevated Metro station is being precast elsewhere and is being brought and fixed during night time at the station locations.  Taking inspiration from a bird, the station design is built in  “spine and wings” method. The State Government and its single window agency the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) intend to utilize a mass transit project as an urban redesign instrument.

HMRL Bike station

Being still in execution stage, the project has already won several prestigious national and global awards including “The Global Engineering Project of the Year Award” at the Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum at New York in 2013,  ‘RoSPA (Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents) Gold’ Award at Glasgow consecutively for 2013, 2014 & 2015, Metro Rail project of the year 2013 & 2014 by the Construction Week India, Mumbai and ‘American Concrete Institute (ACI) Award’ for the year 2013 at Mumbai, India, International Safety, Quality and Environment Management Awards” for the year 2015 by ISQEM at UK, SKOCH Platinum Award and Best Upcoming Metro Rail” for 2016 by ITP Publishing. Hyderabad Metro project is shaping up to establish several global benchmarks and the project is converted from an engineer-centric transportation project to a people-centric innovation project and an urban rejuvenation effort.


MD,HMR Mr. NVS Reddy recivig “The Global Engineering Project of the Year Award” at Global Ingrastructure Leadership Forum in New York on February 28, 2013

‘VANADEEKSHA’ HMRL  Green initiative



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