The Airports Authority of India has reviewed the resubmitted proposal of the Chennai Metro Rail Limited and found certain portions of the alignment near the airport objectionable due to the height and the proximity to the approach path of the runway.

A source at the Airports Authority of India (AAI) told The Hindu that at two critical places — near Guindy and opposite to Trident Hotel, the proposed metro line's elevation would cause obstruction to the approach funnel and transition surfaces of the two portions of the runway. The 25 kv AC overhead traction meant for Chennai Metro Rail, proposed above the running stock, in particular, is of serious safety concern said the source.

The earlier proposal for the Metro Rail was to have a 750 DC traction line known as ‘Third Rail,' which was to run alongside the track. This was changed to overhead traction for reasons of cost. The AAI sources said wherever the alignment was found within permissible heights it has issued a ‘No Objection Certificate' nearly ten days ago.

Earlier, the Chennai Metro had stated that the work of constructing a station at the airport will be entrusted to the AAI. Surprised by this information, the AAI officials said so far they have not received any such communication.

When contacted S. Krishnamoorthy, Chief Public Relations Officer, Chennai Metro Rail Limited, said that they have received communication from the AAI that they are examining it.

The construction of two metro rail corridors running to a total length of 45 km was inaugurated in June 2009. The first corridor will run between Washermanpet and the airport along Anna Salai. About 14 km of this stretch will be below ground and 8.8 km elevated.

The second corridor will ply between Chennai Central and St. Thomas Mount via Koyambedu. About 9 km of this stretch will be below ground and 12.3 km will be elevated. The project is expected to be completed in 2015 and estimated to cost Rs.14,600 crore.

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A. SrivathsanJune 28, 2012