Telangana Congress chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy asked party members to acquaint the people with the party's role in getting the metro to Hyderabad.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Sunday claimed that the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) was an achievement of the Congress, and said that the TRS government was wrongly taking credit for the project.
Speaking to Congress members at Indira Bhavan on the premises of the party headquarters, Reddy said that neither the TRS in Telangana nor the BJP at the Centre had made any contribution to the project.
"KCR, in fact, acted as a trouble maker in the execution of the project," he claimed.
Stating that the HMR was one of the flagship projects of the Congress government, Reddy dubbed the present launch as "kaam hamara, naam tumhara".
"It was the then Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy who secured the approval for a metro rail from the Government of India in 2007. YSR also inaugurated the Metro Rail Bhavan. The concession agreement was signed on September 4, 2010, and the metro rail works were launched by the then Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on December 25, 2012. The trial run of the metro rail was originally scheduled to be held by the end of 2014. However, the TRS deliberately delayed the project to avoid giving the credit to the Congress," Reddy asserted.
The TPCC chief reiterated that KCR's political greed was the only reason for the delay in the completion of, and the cost escalation in, the metro project.
"The project cost shot up by over Rs 4,000 crores, and two-and-half years were lost. Is it not a criminal waste of public money and is KCR not responsible for this?" he asked, and accused KCR of committing a "social sin" by delaying the project.
Alleging that KCR had a habit of taking credit for others' work, Reddy slammed him for not even having the basic decency of inviting the opposition parties for the HMR launch.
Describing 2004-2014 as the golden decade for Hyderabad, Reddy said that over Rs 1 lakh crores was spent on several prestigious projects by the Congress government. These included the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (Rs 2,478 crores), the 158 km Nehru Outer Ring Road (Rs 6,696 crores), the PVNR Expressway (Rs 600 crores) and the Godavari Drinking Water Supply project (Rs 3,375 crores).
He said that all the three phases of the Krishna Drinking Water Supply project were also initiated during the Congress regime.
Later, Reddy directed the party members to acquaint the public with the Congress' contribution to Hyderabad as well as the metro rail project.
"Each and every passenger of metro rail should know that the facility became a reality due to the Congress. However, the passengers can hold KCR responsible for the costly tickets," he said.
Reddy also said that the ticket prices announced by the HMRL authorities were in violation of the tariff agreement.
"L&T is justifying the hike in tariff since the completion of the project was delayed. Is KCR not responsible for this delay? It appears that the TRS government has mortgaged the metro rail to L&T and forgotten that at the end of the day it is public property," he said.
Also speaking on the occasion, TPCC spokesperson Dasoju Sravan, in a detailed presentation, produced documentary and video evidence to show how KCR had delayed the project.
Showing an excerpt from the L&T annual report, he said that the company had sent communication to BSE and NSE seeking two-and-half years' extension, up to Nov 2019.
"As there have been delays from the government's side in providing RoW, the company has applied to the government for interim extension of time of scheduled completion date up to November 2019," L&T said in its letter.
Sravan also described KCR's agitation seeking change of HMR alignment as dubious. He produced a letter written to the then Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on August 17, 2011, by KCR raising issues of "destruction of historical monuments, heritage and culture and improper agreements with L&T". He had also demanded a change in the alignment of Corridor-II to protect historical monuments such as Sultan Baazaar. KCR had wanted the construction of underground metro to protect the historical buildings including M J Market, Jambagh, Assembly, Gun Park.
However, after becoming the Chief Minister, KCR delayed the projects for over two years and finally agreed to implement the original plan. "Why did he conveniently alter his proposal of changing the alignment?" Sravan asked.