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Updated: April 11, 2012 08:58 IST

‘Dropping Metro expansion grave error'

Meera Srinivasan
Comment (30)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
E. Sreedharan says he is disappointed with Tamil Nadu government’s decision to abandon CMRL expansion. Photo: K. Pichumani
E. Sreedharan says he is disappointed with Tamil Nadu government’s decision to abandon CMRL expansion. Photo: K. Pichumani

Delhi Metro Rail adviser Sreedharan says Tamil Nadu government should not have axed plan to connect more areas in city with underground system, reports Meera Srinivasan

The Tamil Nadu government is making a “very serious mistake” in dropping phase-II expansion of the Chennai Metro Rail network, according to E. Sreedharan, principal adviser, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. “Despite having written to the Chief Secretary over three months ago, I have not received any response from the government,” he told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Mr. Sreedharan, who was here to receive an award from the Rotary Club of Madras, said he was disappointed with the Tamil Nadu government's decision to abandon the expansion. Observing that Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) was carrying out metro rail work in a professional way, he said: “They want its expansion, for they recognise the value in it. But the government is being very rigid.” On whether he planned to persuade the state government to change its mind, he said: “I have not thought about that so far, but maybe I could take it up. The state government should think in advance. If the expansion of metro rail has to materialise, it should undertake relevant studies now.”

The study will take about 18 months and the process of obtaining sanctions, involving the Government of India, Ministry of Urban Development and Tamil Nadu government, another 18 months. “That is over three years. It is not a good idea to have a gap between phase I and II.”

New Delhi's metro rail system — on which five other cities are modelling theirs — has proved to be a good business model because it covers 65 km in its first phase and124.63 km in its second. In Chennai, however, only 45 km will be covered as per the current proposal.

“Unless the Metro Rail system is expanded to cover several important areas, it will not be commercially viable,” he said. He said the state government's silence on extending the network up to Tiruvottiyur was also a cause of concern.

Stressing on the need to meet deadlines, he said: “Any delay will make the project unviable. In a metro project, time is money. A day lost amounts to losing crores of rupees.”

Monorail, hardly a substitute

Mr. Sreedharan said the monorail service can, at best, serve as a feeder service for metro rail.

“Chennai is a big city and at present, no system can prove as efficient and viable as the metro rail. Monorail can cater to merely one-third or one-fourth of what metro can. Moreover, the cost of operating the monorail is 50 per cent more than that of metro. It is a very costly feeder service. Metro rail, as a mass transportation system, should be seen as the backbone of urban commute,” Mr. Sreedharan said.

The monorail system coming up in Mumbai involves a cost of Rs. 170 crore per kilometre. “But metro rail will have three times the capacity. Urban transportation networks such as the metro are very capital intensive. State governments must invest in them keeping long-term requirements in mind,” he said.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is currently working on a detailed project report for the Kerala government, exploring the possibility of running high-speed trains connecting the state with other cities.

“These trains will enhance inter-city connectivity. Since they will either be underground or elevated, there is no hassle of land acquisition or disrupting village or city life,” he said.


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Thanks Siv for your comment.I hope you are aware of Urban transits available world over and need in India too. Public transport is need of hour and there is no doubt. Question thus arises how, where and at what cost???Also viability of huge cost intensive projects, patronage, cost of travel and how it solves amm admi whose moneys are also involved!!!I have atleast seen and travelled in the metro cities you have mentioned.In addition also I have travelled in Tokyo metro, Mosco metro,Vienna metro to name few more.
Whether I like or not so called mordern internationally exposed citizens like to duplicate international facilities by borrowing Japnese / Malaysian / World Bank/ ADB money and borrowed technology
which will be huge liability for future and burden on common man.
In my opinion lowcost indigenous technology should be tried which can meet 2 minute headway.
When commonman does not get adequate electricity whould it be justified to consume 600kw per train for airconditioning travel?

from:  DPDASH
Posted on: Apr 14, 2012 at 20:16 IST

It takes a great person to make a good listener.

from:  jayabalan
Posted on: Apr 13, 2012 at 20:12 IST

It is unfortunate that Phase II is not being taken up by TN government. As Shri ES states, Monorail can be used as a feeder for Metro and not as the main transportation option. I am particularly concerned about Arcot road, which was part of Metro Phase II. Now with the suggested mono rail route, only part of Arcot Road is getting covered and it will not aleviate the severe traffic congestion in that road. The choice of monorail will also prevent the elevated highway proposed in the master plan for Arcot road. All around, the monorail will not satisfy the needs in this corridor. I hope TN government revives Metro Phase II and implement it soon.

from:  Srini
Posted on: Apr 13, 2012 at 05:52 IST

This is a clear political rivalry being displayed. I think we need to make our Current CM Ms. Jayalalitha and our Ex CM Mr. Karunanithi to have a one on one debate to defend their govt's plans that they've done for the welfare of the State and My lovable City chennai..!!!! AIADMK proposed monorail earlier, but as soon as they were voted outta power, DMK shelved that project. Now, Our new AIADMK govt is opposing Metro, as it is the brain child of the late DMK Govt.

We are made to pay hefty taxes and still see the Govt only Wasting/ Looting the money generated outta poor and common man of the state.
But Y are v not able to do anything about this?...
how can this be controlled?..

from:  Britto Manoj Kumar Gabriel
Posted on: Apr 12, 2012 at 23:51 IST

DPDASH - you are exactly the kind of people who cannot see past your nose.Metro is a rapid transit system which is high tech. It is capable of running trains in 2/3min intervals at high speed moving people in comfort over long distances. The whole system is designed for comfort,speed and safety which the current MRTs is not capable. Over a period of time, metro solves the problem of commutation.Unfortunately you have not lived in modern cities like London,paris,Newyork or even Singapore / delhi to understand how useful it is to aam aadmi. Unfortunately dinasours like you are stuck in decision making powers and put this great country back. Sreedharan has a track record which is beyond your comprehension. Unfortunately, in this country, you have one vote same as Sreedharan. What a travesty of justice for common people suffering under the tyranny of mediocre people like you.

from:  shiv
Posted on: Apr 12, 2012 at 22:44 IST

I am unable to visualize a situation, how do we want to connect all the parts of chennai? through Metro? we are all trying to address the symptoms (transportation needs) when the real need is to decongest the city. The need for transportation would keep on increasing as you build more metros and more transportation options. Instead we need to decongest the city by moving all the places where people visit on daily basis to outskirts or different city. The uniqueness of the city to be retained by freezing the permission for high rise malls, high occupancy buildings within the city limits. slowly we need to move all the Government buildings away from the city. Metro /mono rails are "Liabilities" which are going to take cash away from your pocket. root cause of the problem-congestion, solution-decongestion

from:  Boopathy
Posted on: Apr 12, 2012 at 22:36 IST

Ego vs reality. Ego wins people fail.people fail ,government fails.New government comes and then back to square one. WAIT!!! What happened to the words of an intellectual? Buried in the flatulence of ego of our leaders!!! What happened to the PEOPLE? They have been failing,are failing, will remain failing for eternity. RIP.

from:  Akshay Bhatt
Posted on: Apr 12, 2012 at 16:44 IST

London metro was started in 1863 and who ever has visited london knows the importance of metro there. Now 2012 we are still fighting to start the next phase, What a shame. we need another freedon struggle movement to rid of corrupt, unpatriotic, egoistic, arrogant politicians. I feel very sorry for the pitiable condition of my city.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Apr 12, 2012 at 15:17 IST

Tamilnadu government should shelve its ego and start the phase II expansion of the metro rail upto tiruvottiyur. A grave injustice cannot be done to the common man in Chennai due to personal whims and fancies of the politicians. My humble request to the honourable chief minister of TN is to visit the Delhi metro system, talk to the people there and then take a decision. Or else, please appoint a committee of experts to recommend the best solution for the city.

from:  Sivakumar N
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 22:48 IST

The carrying capacity of MRTS overhead line in Chennai designed for 12 car rakes is even higher than Metro Rail. The Govt should have Not gone in for Metro Rail. Instead the Govt should have chosen MRTS type services through a separate Special Purpose Vehicle independent of the railways, but using the same technology. The cost would have been cheaper for consumers.

from:  Nakkeeran
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 22:18 IST

Chennai as a metro needs a huge investment to have a metro at 15000 crore for first ohase for 45km, may be 40000 crore for second phase to meet the needs of elite travellers who otherwise choke the traffic with huge cars.There are other low cost models available for downtown areas with Light rail transits for providing feeder service.The electric bus rapid transits also another model may suit chennai skyline.But today metro mania has created a kind of competition ignoring the 60% people who need a cheaper travel like mumbai suburban.A train capable of carrying 4500 passenger onboard with basic aminities and 35% energy efficient and investment of Rs30 crore per train provides much viable solution compared to Rs96 crore spent on metro coahes.Suburban in mumbai daily caters the need of 6.5 million commuters per day. How many can afford Rs15 drive to MG ROAD IN Bangalore, Rs 10 drive in Chennaior Rs 12 drive in Delh. against Rs 6 in mumbai. Can policy tilt towards mumbai model?

from:  DPDASH
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 21:43 IST

I seriously do not know what is stopping the current Chief Minister from expanding the Metro Rail Project. Already St. Thomas Mount is going to have 3 networks, Suburban, MRTS and Metro. Now, does she want to add a fourth.
Mr. E. Sreedharan has always been a pioneer in Metro and Konkan Railway Projects and we all know what he is capable of. It would only be wise of the CM to listen to his intellectual ideas rather than banking on political rivalry.

from:  Ramshankar
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 21:31 IST

Metro, mono, MRTS, Suburban could be connected only by MTC, call taxis
and autos which ultimately eat away one`s pocket. Unless all roads in
Chennai are connected by public transport or pubilc transport are
available with in 1/2 km walking distance, Chennaites will not prefer
any public transport and they will stick to private or own transport.
Why can not the state run public autos in all roads?

from:  R.Ganesan.
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 20:35 IST

Reading all the above comments I can see that not one of the respondents has supported the Mono Rail project. We can conclude from this crude observation that the majority of the people in Chennai would prefer the Metro Rail to the Mono Rail. Please Ms. Chief Minister scrap the plans for Mono Rail and let Metro Rail proceed. Nobody will think any less of you if you did.

from:  hussain
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 19:35 IST

The expansion of metro should not be ignored, because the project was
initiated by Thiru. Karunanidhi

from:  Jeyakrishnan
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 19:11 IST

Based on all the above views and the Metro man Mr Sreedharan's opinion
who has a vast experience on the subject, the Chief Minister should give
a deep thought and study in this matter and take appropriate and correct
decision instead of scrapping the proposal suggested by the previous
govt. though it was from the opposition party, if merit is the criteria.

from:  S Syamsundar
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 18:22 IST

Each and every person in TN knows that present CM is very famous for shelving the projects that is initiated by previous government. Metro, Anna library and bridges etc. Just because of one person's arrogance we are wasting huge public money.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 17:20 IST

Metro expansion is must and that is the only one mode of transport can accommodate large commuters. If the expansion plan shelved by this govt then that would be a disastrous.

from:  Stanly.MJ
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 16:56 IST

It is unfortunate that the T.N.Government wants to have mono rail instead of expanding metro rail. I think T.N.Government should think about uniform in rail network can help the commuters in Chennai. It is too late to think about Mono Rail. Knowledgeble persons has to accept Mr.Sridharan's views. I hope the T.N.Government has to take corrective method.

from:  BK SANKAR
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 15:53 IST

People like Jayalalitha, cannot see past the political rivalry. It is a shame we are voting people like her to power. Everyone knows expanding Metro is a no brainer but still we are put up with these politicians and we have to endure all the pain due to their irresponsible policies.

from:  Viswanathan
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 15:22 IST

MRT works best for cities with large population. Chennai must continue the expansion with Metro rather than opting for monorail.

from:  Muthukrishnan
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 15:19 IST

Earlier High Court scrapped the Mono rail Project when ADMK started the project in its previous term. Now again HC has to stop it.

from:  NSK
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 14:14 IST

Stopping all the projects proposed by the previous government to create an impression that other party were bad is very UNHEALTHY for the growth of our state and nation. We know, all the moves like these are waste of our own money and taking Nation backward. Its sad we don't have much control over these issues.

from:  Desikan
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 14:05 IST

It is the high time to hear the views this Metro Man of India.This may be one of the steps to realise vision 2023.

from:  Sekar Govindasamy
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 13:15 IST

to the concerned authority of metro rail please look at other countries like singapore , bangkok shanghai,london is METRO RAIL operated there. it connects all the 4 corners of the city. metro rail is anyday better option than monorail in terms of capacity and cost

from:  shakeel.s
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 12:40 IST

We want the metro connect to Tiruvottiyur as per the initial plan.

from:  Ramesh R
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 11:42 IST

There is only one reason for dropping the metro expansion and opting for mono rail which everybody in tamilnadu knows - Political Rivalry ! I hope the ruling party acts in a matured fashion and pay heed to the advice from experts in this matter. That is what people expects the party to do. Once elected to power, they are representatives of the people and are expected to do what is beneficial for the people.

from:  Ramesh R
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 11:40 IST

Whatever Mr.Sreedharan said was correct. It is very unfortunate that Tamilnadu political parties having the habit of shelving the projects initiated by rival govt irrespective of the benefit of the project and peoples. It is shame that our leaders do have any maturity that should be the basic quality to be a leader. If the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu change her stand to allow the phase II of the metro then it will be beneficial for the common people of TN.

from:  Sakthivel
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 10:50 IST

It appears there is a powerful lobby pushing for monorail.It will be interesting to know who these companies are and who are the crony capitalist in India pushing its case with Indian authorities. Sreedharan should be an authority on this subject because he has experience and unlike many Indian administrators, he has proven his capability in many gigantic projects including Delhi metro.If anyone has counter proposal, he/she should have either similar or greater experience than that of Sreedharan.Scams happen because politicians are vested with financial decision making powers.This should be taken away from them.All major projects of national importance should be drawn up by capable,corrupt free, knowledgeable and experienced independent technocrats.Irrespective of either ayya or amma comes to power, crooked elements cannot use these politicians and scuttle important projects or foist on public unwanted expenditure.

from:  shiv
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 10:31 IST

Mr. Sreedharan's view is very true. TN Govt should act for the long term vision (2020) and future growth of Chennai Mega city.

from:  Muruganantham
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 09:39 IST
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