Land acquisition on 5-km stretch resumes after vacation of stay; to be completed in 45 days

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has resumed land acquisition to facilitate the completion of the MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System) link between Velachery and St. Thomas Mount. According to a senior official of CMDA, the land acquisition process has resumed after a stay was vacated recently. “The land acquisition will be completed in 45 days. The work on the incomplete portions of the 5-km stretch is expected to resume as soon as we hand over the land to Railways,” said the official.

Residents along the stretch are optimistic yet some are also scared. “The MRTS will be a boon. We bought a new house near the MRTS track as we expected the area to develop after the completion of the work. There is inadequate bus facility now. So we have to depend on autorickshaws even though the fare is exorbitant,” said R.Shanmuga Priya, a resident who is an IT professional in a company on Rajiv Gandhi Salai.

“We are also scared that a portion of our property may be acquired for MRTS. They have already planned to acquire land from our neighbour,” she added.

Thousands of such employees including those who work in companies on the information technology corridor are expected to make use of the Velachery-St Thomas Mount MRTS that is likely to be completed by 2013 if the ongoing land acquisition is completed on time.

The link will also help thousands of employees commuting from residential localities on GST Road to Rajiv Gandhi Salai and in Velachery. The completion of MRTS services upto St. Thomas Mount was delayed because of a court case following objection by some residents to the modified alignment of the stretch.

The plan to extend the services to Adambakkam by mid-2012 too is yet to be implemented.

The Velachery-St Thomas Mount stretch is the third phase extension of MRTS in the city. Work on the stretch was started in 2008 and the earlier deadline for completion was December 2010.

St. Thomas Mount is likely to become a major hub where the Chengalpet-Tambaram-Beach suburban line, the MRTS and the Metrorail will converge.

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