Work on the project to link Velachery and St. Thomas Mount will resume soon

The acquisition and alienation of over 23,466 sq. m of land that was a stumbling block for the completion of the MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System) link between Velachery and St. Thomas Mount will be completed after February.

The delayed work on the incomplete portions of the 5-km stretch is expected to resume shortly. The land acquisition process resumed last year after a stay was vacated. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) will have to hand over the land to Railways.

Private lands measuring 6,550 sq m along the stand-alone rail alignment, 3,038 sq m near Adambakkam Station and 8,462 sq m near Puzhuthivakkam Station have been identified. After notification and valuation of structures by PWD officials, the Revenue Department officials have completed field inspection of the land and structures. The Railways is expected to take possession of the lands for Adambakkam Station in January. The Revenue Department had conducted award enquiry for Adambakkam on December 28, 2012.

Compensation will be paid to the affected residents shortly. Award enquiry for the lands along stand-alone rail alignment will be held on January 23 and January 24. The railways will take possession of the land in February.

As a number of encroachments had sprung up in the government lands identified for the project, the CMDA has requested the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board for allotment of alternative accommodation for such residents.

Thousands of employees including those who work in companies on Rajiv Gandhi Salai are expected to make use of the Velachery-St Thomas Mount MRTS that is likely to be completed this year. The link will also help thousands of employees commuting from residential localities on GST Road to Rajiv Gandhi Salai. The completion of MRTS services upto St. Thomas Mount was delayed because of a court case following objection raised by some residents to the modified alignment.

Work on the stretch was started in 2008 and the earlier deadline for completion was December 2010. St. Thomas Mount Station after the completion of the work will become a major hub.

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