It is estimated that Hyderabad Metro Rail is losing Rs 80 lakh a day, even though it is carrying 2.80 lakh people to their destinations through 820 trips a day in the three corridors. HMRL is desperately trying to overcome the damage caused by COVID-19 but has not been able to catch up with the number of passengers in the past.
Metro revenue has not increased despite running trains from 6 AM to 11.15 PM. By the end of the previous financial year, Metro had a revenue of Rs 386 crore and a loss of Rs 1,766 crore, according to L&T sources. The project has to pay Rs 1,412 crore annually in interest on loans taken from various banks. L&T officials say the losses are compounded by poor revenues from the malls and declining advertising revenue.
Currently, the revenue generated by tickets, parking, and shopping malls is not enough to cover the maintenance costs and salaries of the employees. Telangana Government has promised to help the corporation but then, nothing has happened. Government officials announced at a meeting with L&T and Metro officials two months ago that they would provide Rs 400 crore to Rs 500 crore as immediate relief for interest payments on loans.
But not a single penny has been released so far. Before COVID-19, the LB Nagar-Miyapur, JBS-NGBS, Nagole-Rayadurg corridors handled between 3.80 lakh and 4.20 lakh commuters a day. In addition, the management of shopping malls and advertising on a large scale generated huge revenue. Metro tickets and malls generate over Rs 300 crore a year in advertising. The revenue has fallen sharply from February 2020 after the Pandemic started. L&T is looking to exit from the project to avert the losses.