Several projects including a vehicular subway and two link roads will help improve connectivity

Several infrastructure projects including a major vehicular subway and two link roads will be in place in St. Thomas Mount before the station complex there with MRTS, Metrorail and suburban lines becomes operational.

All the works are expected to increase usage of the three lines by improving connectivity.

Sources with the CMDA said the vehicular subway will be located on the stretch between Velachery and the St. Thomas Mount station complex. It will be designed to offer optimum connectivity for the entire catchment area of the station complex, which is expected to emerge as a hub of public transit in the metropolitan area.

Various options have been suggested as part of a feasibility study and the new vehicular subway beneath the MRTS line will help commuters avoid a detour.

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has asked Chennai Corporation to shoulder the responsibility of construction of many of the infrastructure works with Railway funding.

The CMDA is planning to avoid land acquisition for the project as legal wrangles have already held up the process on a part of the Velachery-St. Thomas Mount Stretch.

Over 3.5 km of the 5-km stretch is on the Inner Ring Road and the last 1.5 km passes near settlements where residents have protested land acquisition. The process was expected to be completed by February but the legal proceedings delayed the acquisition and alienation of over 23,466 sq m of land needed for the Velachery-St. Thomas Mount line.

Acquisition for laying tracks over a distance of 500 metres and for the Puzhuthivakkam station is also yet to be completed.

The CMDA has also asked the Corporation to construct two link roads to connect the MRTS stations. One 18-metre link road will connect Velachery and Taramani. The other road of the same length will connect Kasturba Nagar and Thiruvamiyur.

The link between Velachery and Taramani stations though may be reduced to 12 metre due to existing challenges pertaining to encroachments.

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