CMRL construction activity has shifted across the road, opposite the LIC building

With Metro Rail construction activity on Anna Salai crossing over to the other side of the road, work seems to be progressing fast.

Motorists driving along Anna Salai towards Chennai Central would have, in the past few days, noticed the traffic course having changed a little, particularly near the LIC metro station construction site. Since considerable work on one side of the underground station is over, construction has now begun on the opposite side, according to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).

Seven stations

As many as seven underground stations are coming up along Anna Salai, from Saidapet up to the government estate, at the other end, near the Poompuhar showroom. Building the diaphragm wall underground is one of the primary tasks in the construction of an underground station, say Metro engineers.

“At the LIC station, 39 panels have been put up on one side – by the LIC building – for the diaphragm wall. Now, we will construct the remaining 39 panels on the other side,” an official said. The wall is about one metre thick and goes up to 25 metres underground.

The site, where work was on until recently, has been cleared and a newly-laid road along that stretch gleams shiny black.

“We have laid the road but will hand over Anna Salai back to the Highways Department only after completing construction work along the entire stretch,” an official said.

Progress in stages

Work on other stations along Anna Salai is at different stages of progress. At the government estate station, 72 diaphragm wall panels have been put up, while at the Thousand Lights station, 14 panels have been erected. Gemini and Saidapet stations have nearly 50 panels ready. Though CMRL had said tunnelling from Saidapet towards Gemini would begin in the first week of October, work on the underground tunnel along the arterial road is yet to begin, officials said.

Traffic police made changes to the flow of traffic along Anna Salai in March this year. Further changes were made around Nandanam in April.

The underground line of Chennai Metro is expected to be completed in 2015.

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