As Hyderabad Metro gets set to roll out, its mascot lies forgotten

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 09, 2018

Missing mascot This 2014 photograph shows Niz, the mascot of the Hyderabad Metro, being unveiled   -  P_V_SIVAKUMAR

He was born in 1985 to a family that could trace its lineage to the Nizams. After graduating from IIT-Delhi, he pursued a course in urban planning at Columbia University, US. However, his strong roots drew him back to his family and his city, Hyderabad, to which he wished to contribute with his passion and acquired expertise.

Thus went the narrative behind Niz, the official mascot of the Hyderabad Metro Rail, which is all set to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

However, Niz, who was unveiled in 2014, is all but forgotten today. Thanks to a combination of politics, differences in perception and role, the mascot does not appear on signages or publicity blitzes of the Hyderabad Metro.

Conceived to represent a typical young, upwardly mobile character from the Nizam’s city of Hyderabad, Niz is conspicuous by his absence from all the big preparations that have been put together for the grand opening run, which will see the PM, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and others take a short ride from Miyapur in the Cyberabad area.

In September 2014, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd, the project executor, unveiled Niz, the mascot, at a public event. The bubbly character was introduced in the presence of then Telangana Chief Secretary Rajeev Sharma, SK Joshi, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, then CEO of L&TMRH VB Gadgil, and NVS Reddy, MD, Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd (HMRL).

Alas, for now, Niz, who epitomises Hyderabad and should have been ubiquitous with his presence at events, narrating stories of the various facets of the the growth of the Hyderabad Metro, and the city’s rich history and culture, its evolution as an IT hub, remains out of action for the moment.

Published on November 26, 2017

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