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Updated: March 4, 2012 13:38 IST

One of the four monorail lines axed

Ajai Sreevatsan
Comment (15)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

‘It ran through undeveloped areas; was financially unviable'

The State government has decided to drop one of the four monorail lines that were supposed to be built in the city. While originally an ambitious 111-km long Phase-I network was proposed to be constructed the revised target means the monorail grid would be only 57-km.

The corridor from Vandalur to Puzhal via Avadi (54 km) has been axed because it runs through “undeveloped areas with no pre-existing traffic in the alignment”, making it “financially unviable”. If it had been built, it would have been the longest monorail corridor in the world.

The decision was taken after the Empowered Monorail Committee met on Monday, following which a note was prepared and submitted to the government.

The note, sourced by The Hindu, observes that though the monorail connectivity itself will act as an inducer of development along the Vandalur-Puzhal corridor, “the lack of financial viability of this corridor may have a very severe, adverse impact on the cumulative viability of the other three corridors, in the scenario of all four corridors being clubbed together in one package”.

The revised 57-km long Phase-I of Chennai Monorail is estimated to cost Rs.8,500 crore. It is proposed to constitute a network of three elevated corridors –Vandalur to Velachery via Tambaram East (23 km); Poonamallee to Kathipara via Porur (18 km); and Poonamallee to Vadapalani via Valasarawakkam (16 km).

The fourth line may be considered in the subsequent phases of the project. Though it was projected as an easy to construct, emission-free public transport option that can provide connectivity to the city's bustling western and southern suburbs, the Chennai Monorail project has faced a number of stumbling blocks right from the start.

The initial global tender floated on August 15, 2011, had to be nullified due to lack of participation.

A senior government official said the government has been over-ambitious in its approach.

He said several monorail manufacturers had expressed the non-viability of building a 54-km monorail line using existing technologies even during the previous tendering process. While the initial four monorail lines left out north Chennai residents in the lurch, it now looks like even the western suburbs may not have mass transport connectivity at least for the next couple of years.

Independent experts also question the nature in which the project is implemented, based purely on private funding, which entails that investments would be made only in areas that are already developed. Even the Committee's note cautions that in case the project costs get inflated, “it would necessitate a high user fare.”

More In: Chennai

Inital plan should be implemented, Since Places like Ambathur and Avadi are developing a lot. Moreover after development Govt cannot build these rail routes there though monorail needs fewer public place.

from:  Karthik
Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 13:29 IST

Till date North and Western chennai has been avoided from all new infrastructure projects. Now in Mono Rail implementation western part is facing a blow again. Why this disparity. That too Ambattur industrial estate is being transformed into IT hub very rapidly. Citing a reason of passing through undeveloped areas and thereby financially nonviable is a big cooked up story to avoid the residents of western chennai which is not their fault. Recently Ambattur,Puzhal merged with chennai corporation is an added feature. Though people can say Avadi,Ambattur has a suburban rail connection, it is to connect west with eastern parts. But connecting west with central and southern part of chennai is again a question. Government can think of in other line and bring it in two three stretches if not a single stretch. Already widening of NH 205 from Padi to Thiruninravur by clearing encroaches is axed due to traders opposition. And yet again losing another benefit. Will this government consider?

from:  kanmani
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 12:20 IST

I am not sure of why North Chennai is still being avoided and put into crisis again and again ? Why is it that the area where Chennai and Chennnaites actually orginated is no more in the scene of development ?

from:  Kamal
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 23:54 IST

Instead of totally dropping the Vandalur-Puzhal corridor, the government can consider a line from Vandalur to Poonamallee so that Poonamallee could become a change over point as two other corridors are terminating there. With reduced distance the route may become technically viable. It should also be economically feasible as it will cover thickly populated areas from Vandalur to Pamamal via Pallavaram. Areas around Kundrathur and Mangadu are also developing rapidly.

from:  K.GOPAL
Posted on: Feb 26, 2012 at 16:46 IST

Better not to have annexed ambattur with the city if the govt., had
felt that it is exurban.imagination that this major chunk of west
Chennai is not West Chennai leaves a gaping hole in the city's map. if
anything north of anna nagar isn't city then what to say about the
plight of 6 lac residents in the zone 7 of the so called expanded
city. No metro ,no mono only votes. the govt must implement a new
alternative to solve the traffic crunch in ambattur(metro phase-2 or
new monorail route for ambattur) .we are already wounded by the
proposal to drop widening of the CTH road, now this rubs salt over
it.better not to make proposals before announcing them

from:  Akshay
Posted on: Feb 24, 2012 at 15:22 IST

Instead of Vandalur to Puzhal via Avadi , the route should be Siruseri to Vandalur

from:  Nakkeeran
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 23:35 IST

For Metros like Chennai having about 9 million and about 174 Sq Km of area, any kind of Mono Rail solution is a childish Joke. What we need a Complete and Total Metro Light Rail system like the one in Delhi and the ones being planned for Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Chennai is loosing out to other cities in every development due to the rivalry among the two main Political Parties (between two individulas). We need about 350 km of integrated rail system as recommebed by Mr.Sridharan, the father of Delhi Metro and KOnkan Railways. Let us listen to experts and vote for integrated Metro.

Nowhere in the World Mono rails are successful in any metro city except as feeder lines - at the most. Let us not loose the opportunity due to petty egoism.

from:  D.Devadas
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 22:31 IST

Any plans to have a train service in OMR along taramani till mahabalipuram?

from:  raj
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 21:46 IST

It will be better if an additional monorail link is constructed from Vadapalani Jn to Gemini(ending at the upcoming metro station at Gemini). This will help residents along Arcot Road to enter the city easily. Unfortunately till date, no plan has been made for Arcot Road which now is one of the most congested roads of the city

from:  B.Ramesh
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 16:14 IST

It is time that the government dropped its inhibition that metro rail was the project of DMK government. Existing technologies do not support a 54 KM link means better to go for Metro rail. Kudos to Hindu for bringing the disadvantages of mono rail for long distances. It is the opinion of DMK Youth wing chief M.K.Stalin that monorail is fit for run in zoos and safaris. Let the government have a public debate and thus not waste tax payer's money on mono rail which is not viable for a city like Chennai.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 15:44 IST

The people north of anna nagar would still have to resort to old means
of transport which hints the growth of the city beyond ambattur and
avadi is still discouraged though ambattur started evolving as the
second IT corridor inside the city. Its a shame the monorail hub would
not seamlessly connect the densely populated piece beyond anna nagar to
the proposed infrastructure. Hope atleast the roads are widened or
atleast 4 lane system is introduced to channelize the traffic which
would flow into the new transportation proposed.

from:  Giridhar Shyam
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 14:19 IST

In this govt. even though the feasibility study says that it is financially non viable to go for the fourth line, constructing that would develop those areas and congestion would also ease out, also making the govt. setting a path for the future.Acquisition cost will be very low now and later on that will be high. Kindly rethink.

from:  Sabarinath
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 08:52 IST

As the mono rail corridor from Vandalur has been axed, IT Corridor can be added as it needs one immediately and there is no mode of other transport planned and very much needed for the development taking at full speed on IT Corridor.
IT corridor was listed in the mono rail route from Kelambakkam to Parry's and was announced in 2003 when Ms.Jayalalitha was CM at that time but did not find place in the current list,representation have been made to include IT Corridor but nothing has been done about it.
I request THE HINDU to make story on the immediate need of mono rail in IT Corridor as it will be of great help to people in IT Corridor .

from:  G. Satish
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 07:02 IST

Government needs to support this project and implement. After a couple of years, traffic will certainly grow and the public will be benefitted.

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 07:01 IST

Monorail should be integrated with Metro and MRTS to make it more attractive. The Vadapalani line should be extended to Vadapalani Metro station and integrated with Metro. The Poonamalee-Kathiapara line should ideally end at St. Thomas mount, via Alandur. This will allow it to integrate with both MRTS and Metro lines.

from:  Srini
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 02:57 IST
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