A crisscrossing network of four monorail corridors, running to a total length of 111 km, is being planned by the State government. The network includes a 54-km link between Vandalur and Puzhal, which when completed would be the longest anywhere in the world.

The corridors have been identified based on a feasibility study prepared by the Pallavan Transport Consultancy Services Ltd. Bids have been invited to build a monorail network along the four corridors – Vandalur to Puzhal via Avadi; Vandalur to Velachery via Tambaram East (23 km); Poonamallee to Kathipara via Porur (18 km); and Poonamallee to Vadapalani via Valasarawakkam (16 km).

The four corridors which constitute Phase-I of the Chennai Monorail project is expected to cost over Rs.16,000 crore.

However, according to the terms of the government bid, it will be entirely financed by a private operator. With Central government assistance unlikely, the State government felt this is the best way to finance the project, sources said.

On its part, the State government is likely to identify and provide the land for the project. A reasonable fare structure would also be fixed based on a concessionaire agreement.

The focus on suburban areas is a conscious move aimed at supporting the rapidly expanding city, a senior government official said.

Chennai is on its way to becoming a mega city with a population of over 10 million. The rate of population growth is much higher in the suburbs and there is a pressing need to look beyond the city, he added.

As promised in the Governor's address to the State Assembly, during which the monorail project was announced, there will be a strong thrust towards inter-model integration.

The proposed monorail corridors will integrate with the metro rail network at Vadapalani and the Kathipara junction. Inter-modal hubs will come up at Velachery and Madhavaram, where satellite mofussil bus terminuses will be built. A link will also be established between monorail and the MRTS at Velachery.

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