The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has taken over the Chennai Corporation park in Ashok Nagar for construction-related activities. This is the fourth lung space in the city that has been closed to the public for the work on the 45-km-long Metro Rail network.

The other green spaces that have been handed over to the CMRL by the Corporation are: Thiru-Vi-Ka Park in Shenoy Nagar, Nehru Park on Poonamallee High Road, and May Day Park in Chintadripet.

At Ashok Nagar, since the Metro corridor takes a turn towards the Udhayam theatre before heading further down the Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, sufficient turning radius is required at the Ashok Pillar junction. To provide this, the alignment will drift from the median towards one end of the road before it approaches the junction. Hence, the pillars of the elevated corridor would come up on the edge of the Ashok Nagar Park.

K. Rajaraman, Managing Director, CMRL, said special vibration and noise reducing aids would be used at the stretch. “The need for noise barriers can be studied during the commissioning and testing phase.”

He added that a couple of crore rupees have been allocated to restore each park, which is currently being used by the CMRL.

A senior Metro Rail official said a restoration committee, involving NGOs, would draw up a plan to renovate all the four parks once construction work gets over.

“The Metro Rail project requires a lot of space to install cranes and for material handling. Parks are the only large public spaces that are available.”

Preparatory work on launching Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) has already commenced at Nehru Park. Work on the underground section is set to begin by June. The entire Metro network, expected to be completed by December 2015.