Authorities hope to finish testing and apply for safety clearance, targeting inauguration in six months’ time

Starting next month, Chennai Metro Rail’s trial runs from Koyambedu will go right up to Alandur.

This stretch is expected to be thrown open to the public in the next six months. Until now, the trial runs were taking place between Koyambedu and Ashok Nagar.

Once the trial runs on the nearly 10-km elevated stretch from Koyambedu to Alandur are completed satisfactorily, the authorities will move in for safety clearances.

“We plan to extend the trial run up to Alandur by mid-May, after the track-laying work is complete. Before we operationalise this stretch in October, we will continue with these trial runs, post which we have to get safety clearances,” said an official of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).

Only about 500 metres of track-laying work is remaining, he said.

Chennai Metro Rail that sprawls over 45 km of the city is being built at a cost of Rs. 14,600 crore. Of the 45 km, 24 km will run underground.

Though plans are afoot to commission the stretch from Koyambedu to Alandur, the stations along the stretch are far from completion.

The work ground to a halt for nearly two months after the contract of Consolidated Construction Consortium Limited was terminated. There were no takers for the project until recently. Now, fresh contracts have been awarded for the stations and the work is set to restart soon.

The stations on the stretch will not be completely ready by the time the authorities intend to throw it open to the public.

Only basic facilities will be available initially and the stations will be fully ready only by March 2015.

Of the 42 trains that CMRL will use, nine trains have arrived so far and one more is expected to reach Chennai from Brazil by the end of May. CMRL plans to ply 10 trains along the Koyambedu-Alandur stretch.