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‘Free bus rides for women and transgenders will continue, L&T can quit Hyderabad Metro’, says Telangana CM Revanth Reddy

Reddy stated that his government will uphold the Congress' commitment to provide free bus rides for women and transgender people. The CM stated that if L&T opts out, his administration will hunt for another party interested in operating it.

Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy stated on Friday (17th May) that if L&T wishes to abandon the Hyderabad Metro project due to the state government’s free bus fare policy, they are free to do so. The CM’s comments came after L&T director R Shankar Raman said that the company is planning to sell the Hyderabad Metro project after 2026. He had said that women are not travelling by metro due to the free bus ride scheme in the state.

CM Reddy stated that his government will uphold the Congress party’s commitment to provide free bus rides for women and transgender people. The CM stated that if L&T opts out, his administration will hunt for another party interested in operating it. In an informal discussion with many publications, he stated that there is nothing to be concerned about.

Reddy was reacting to a BT TV exclusive in which L&T president, whole-time director, and CFO R Shankar Raman claimed the firm will look at selling out Hyderabad Metro after 2026 due to poor ridership, adding that the free bus ride scheme had made ridership “less interesting”.

L&T owns 90% of the metro project, and the Telangana government owns the other 10%. The business holds a 65-year concession to operate the metro system.

Raman described the idea proposed by Congress as not sustainable. “Some of these sops are done on the back of political promises, which is not going to help the state finances because what is the point in making the state’s transport corporation go bankrupt…there’s no fun in doing that,” Raman stated. He stated that while private capital is required to build a modern, zero-polluting transport system, money is being spent on making people use polluting buses.

He told BT TV that L&T had successfully arranged a soft loan of Rs 3,000 crore with the Telangana government, which will be repaid without interest. The corporation also planned to monetize part of the real estate associated with the metro system.

“My assessment is that when we sit down for the FY26-FY31 plan, this could be an asset to be monetized in that period because it would then be of interest to investors, particularly the pension funds and global funds given the 65-year concession,” he stated to BT TV.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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