25 March 2011.
An Appeal by Leading Social Activists and NAPM
Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, National Advisory Council.
Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Hon’ble Minister for Environment and Forests.
• Review the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project
• Subject it to Environmental and Economic Scrutiny
• Prevent Another Scam
We, the undersigned, would like to demand that the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project should be subjected to a rigorous scrutiny on environmental and economic aspects. The HMR has been one of the most controversial mega projects in public private partnership (PPP) being pushed by the Government of India and Government of Andhra Pradesh. It has also been severely contested by the civil society in Hyderabad. Earlier it was linked to the scandal of Satyam Computers. The then prime consultant, Mr. E. Sreedharan of DMRC, also withdrew from this project.
The HMR’s main objective seems to be to grab prime lands worth thousands of crores of rupees in the city. Severe doubts have been raised on the quality of the studies done for this project. The HMR authorities are refusing to share the detailed project reports even today, preposterously claiming that they belong to intellectual property. Genuine concerns have been expressed over the negative impact of this project on the city’s historic core areas and heritage sites including Sultan Bazaar and the Assembly building. The route in the old city is changed after the concession agreement has been signed and now they want to take the corridor right in the middle of the Musi river along its course. This river is in the National River Conservation Programme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India. Despite this being a huge construction project involving millions of sft of built up area, the MoEF is remaining silent.
After the collapse of Satyam/Maytas, instead of thoroughly reviewing this project, the government of AP has selected L&T company as the successful bidder. As the GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) authorities are preparing to demolish thousands of properties, the traders in the historic core areas surrounding Sultan Bazaar are resisting land acquisition, and are preparing to fight. Lakhs of people are going to lose their livelihoods. Osmania University community is opposing handing over of 14.5 acres of their prime land.
Being an elevated corridor through the busy streets of the core city, this project is going to deface and decimate the beauty of the city, and erase its very historical character. This is the most expensive mega project thrust on the city, secretively pushed and least debated in the public. This is likely to become another scam in course of time and become a huge burden to the people of Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh.
We demand that –
– Immediately halt the project.
– Make a thorough review of the feasibility of this project in economic terms vis-à-vis the alternatives available to improve public transportaion.
– Subject this project to rigorous environmental scrutiny.
In this context, we also demand that the public sector banks should not pledge people’s money as loans to L&T for this controversial project.
We also demand that the metro rail projects in all cities must be brought under EIA Notification of the MoEF for mandatory environmental clearance. In the absence of this, the authorities are finding an alibi not to conduct serious studies, conduct public consultations and share information with the public.
Medha Patkar, National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM).
Aruna Roy, Magsaysay Awardee, Mazdoor Kisan Shakthi Sanghatana (MKSS).
P.M. Bhargava, Former and Founder-Director, Centre for Cellular & Molecular
Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.
EAS Sarma, Former Secretary, Government of India, Forum for Better Visakha.
Sekhar Singh, National Campaign for Peoples Right to Information (NCPRI).
Rajendra Singh, Magsaysay Awardee, Tarun Bharat Sangh, Rajasthan.
Arvind Kejriwal, Magsaysay Awardee, Parivarthan, Delhi.
Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee, and NAPM National Convenor.
E.L. Rani Sarma, Author of “The Deodis of Hyderabad- A Lost Heritage” and presently Convener, INTACH, Vizag Chapter.
Prafulla Samantara, NAPM National Convenor.
Gabriele Dietrich, NAPM National Convenor.
Sister Celia, NAPM National Convenor.
Rajendra Ravi, NAPM National Convenor.
P. Chennaiah, NAPM National Convenor.
B. Ramakrishna Raju, Convenor, NAPM, Andhra Pradesh.
Saraswati Kavula, Joint Convenor, NAPM, Andhra Pradesh.
P.S. Ajay Kumar, Joint Convenor, NAPM, Andhra Pradesh.
Contact: Madhuresh 9818905316 email@example.com