Larsen & Toubro’s Hyderabad Metro Struggles Amidst Mahalaxmi Scheme Free Bus rides for women

Larsen & Toubro's Hyderabad Metro Struggles Amidst Mahalaxmi Scheme Controversy

Amidst the controversy surrounding the Mahalaxmi Scheme offering free bus rides for women in the state, Hyderabad Metro grapples with a significant decline in ridership.

The scheme, which aims to provide accessible transportation for women, has inadvertently driven away female commuters from the metro, posing challenges for Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T), the company overseeing the metro operations.

In a recent interview with Business Today, R Shankar Raman, President, Director & CFO of L&T, expressed concerns over the scheme’s impact on metro ridership dynamics.

He noted a gender distribution trend, with women opting for the free bus rides while men increasingly turn to the metro for their commute. This imbalance, exacerbated by the lack of corresponding increases in bus services, has put strain on the metro’s operations.

Despite acknowledging the positive intent behind the Congress government’s initiative, Raman raised sustainability concerns, emphasizing the detrimental effects of excessive reliance on pollution-causing vehicles.

He cautioned against decisions driven solely by political promises, emphasizing the importance of sound financial planning for the state’s transport infrastructure.

To alleviate the financial burden, L&T has negotiated a Rs 3,000 crore soft loan with the state, which will be repaid over time without interest. Additionally, the company is exploring opportunities to monetize real estate assets associated with the Hyderabad Metro.

Raman sees potential for these assets to attract investors, particularly pension and global funds, given the metro’s 65-year concession.

L&T Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (L&TMRHL), a subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro, is committed to implementing the metro project on a Design, Built, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis. With the completion of financial closure in record time, this project stands as a significant milestone in India’s infrastructure development landscape.

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