Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. recently demarcated land near gate 9, 10

The demarcation of land on Koyembedu Wholesale Market Complex for the Chennai Metro Rail depot has evoked criticism from the traders. They have represented to the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), which is in charge of the market, to make an alternative arrangement that would not affect their shops and livelihood.

“The use of developed market land for construction of the depot will lead to demolition of 25 shops which have been sold by the CMDA to the vegetable traders. Part of an area earmarked for the truck parking bay is also being acquired for Metro Rail,” said V.R. Soundararajan, secretary, Koyambedu Vegetable Market Licence Holders' Association.

“The land acquisition would affect the business of 100 shops as the loading and unloading of vegetables involving over 500 vehicles daily is likely to be stopped,” said S. Chandran, Secretary of the Koyambedu Market Periyar Vegetable Merchants' Association.

The traders said they have not been issued any notice yet. They came to know of the acquisition after officials of the Chennai Metro Rail Limited recently demarcated land near gate 9 and 10 of the market complex for construction of the depot.

The Government Order issued for the depot earmarked 30 hectare of land in Koyambedu from CMDA. But the design of the depot is in such a way that the CMRL requires more land already developed as vegetable market by CMDA. As the shops are owned by the traders, the land is being acquired by the CMRL from the shop owners directly, said officials of CMDA.

According to officials of the CMRL, the depot coming up at a cost of Rs.198.1 crore would be the most important component of the entire project. A state-of-the-art operation control centre which would be the nerve centre of the Metro Rail operations would be among the facilities to be housed in the 35 hectare area in Koyambedu. Train controllers at the operation control centre would be sitting in front of giant screens which would display relevant details on a real-time basis. The operation control centre would play a key role in deciding and implementing relief measures in case of accidents.

CMRL had awarded the contract for the construction of the depot November last year. An additional 5.5 hectare of privately owned land in Koyambedu is also likely to be acquired for the depot, said CMRL officials.

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