The Chennai Metro Rail project is likely to be extended up to Tiruvottiyur. The detailed project report submitted by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the project consultants, says it is “technically feasible.”
T.V. Somanathan, Managing Director, Chennai Metro Rail, said: “The draft detailed project report has been submitted and after consultation with various government agencies, a decision will be taken soon.”
According to him, the consultants have given a “specific alignment” with “some number of stations” between Washermenpet and Tiruvottiyur, which is a nine-kilometre stretch.
In 2003, the DMRC studied seven corridors. Mr. Somanathan said that Tiruvottiyur was left out while fixing the alignment of the final two corridors because “highest priority in terms of ridership, with relation to cost, was taken up first.”
Even Panagal Park, a highly dense locality, was part of the initial study, but cost constraints meant that it was left out of the final alignment.
Emphasising that Tiruvottiyur was left out purely because of cost prioritisation, Mr. Somanathan said: “The government has, however, taken a positive view of the demands made by north Chennai residents and based on the report that we now have, consultations will be held with various agencies such as the Chennai Corporation, Highways Department and Metrowater before taking a decision.”
The work on the underground sections of the Metro Rail is set to start early next year and Mr. Somanathan cautioned that residents might have to go through some “pain” because of changes in traffic arrangement.
“Certain measures to optimally manage traffic disruptions have been devised, but citizens must also pitch in through better use of systems like the MRTS during the transition phase,” he added.
Work on Phase I of the Metro Rail, which is currently under construction, is expected to attract a traffic volume of 13 lakh commuters a day by 2026.