2599 metro pillars erected in 2599 days

The ground-breaking ceremony for the first pillar was done seven years ago on April 19, 2012.

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In a major feat, the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) has completed work on a 66-km stretch by erecting the 2599th pillar near the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS), exactly 2,599 days after work started on the project in 2012. With this, the entire project barring a 6-km stretch in Hyderabad’s Old City area, has been completed.

Taking to Twitter, Hyderabad Metro Rail MD, N V S Reddy said that the ground-breaking ceremony for the first pillar (Pier no.19 near Genpact in Uppal) was done seven years ago on April 19, 2012.

“No political dignitaries were present, only Mr Pankaj Dwivedi, the then CS, a few senior officers & I participated (sic),” he tweeted.

“2599 metro pillars in 2599 days by a single company, L&T, in continuous stretches and one go. A pillar a day under extremely trying circumstances and in congested roads of an Indian city. What an arduous but momentous journey! How many hurdles we successfully crossed with relentless pursuit And patience, skilfull negotiations and deft handling of sensitive issues! Can’t believe that Hyderabad Metro happened against all odds!” he added.

Reddy also pointed out that they acquired over 3,000 private properties in the heart of the city by amicably solving thousands of disputes besides shifting 200 km of power lines, 25 km of sewers and storm water drains, and 5,000 electric poles in dense commercial areas.

“Permissions from Defence(took 4 years); Railways(4 years); NH(3 yrs)& innumerable other government organisations; winning over 370 cases in High Court etc (sic). Handling 20 religious structures with patient negotiations in an adroit manner in a communally sensitive Indian city & handling heritage & other sensitive issues – no MIT, Stanford or Harvard can teach you. One needs to be a dexterous leader & not a bureaucrat/manager to do so (sic),” he said.

The MD also said that the process involved translocation of over 2,100 trees and removal of 3,000 trees with compensatory plantation of 6 lakh saplings; besides widening of roads, culverts and nalas, for smooth flow of traffic during metro construction. 

“The list is endless. I can and need to write a tech and non-tech chapter on each pillar (how we solved and built it there) post-retirement, for posterity,” he tweeted, adding that he was, “extremely grateful to the people of Hyderabad who backed the project to the hilt and enabled and encouraged us to perform.”