First phase has exhausted city’s arterial roads: officials

All the three corridors planned in phase-II of Chennai Metro Rail, covering 76 km, will be underground.

“It will be underground, entirely. Since the elevated corridor of phase I has already exhausted all the arterial roads like Anna Salai and Poonamallee High Road, there is no further scope for construction of elevated corridors in the city,” said a senior official of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).

While the construction of every kilometre of an elevated corridor costs about Rs. 150 crore, the underground network may cost about Rs. 500 crore per km, officials said.

The State government announced its decision in January to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for phase-II.

After the government approves the alignment and grants clearance, it would take a year to complete the DPR and at least another 10 years to finish the entire project, an official said.

N. S. Srinivasan, former director, National Transportation Planning and Research Centre, said, “Whenever a work is taken up, there should be continuity. The study should have been taken up much earlier. Phase-II has been delayed already. There should not be a gap at all between two phases of Metro Rail.”