The Union Cabinet on Friday approved transfer of a piece of land belonging to the Geological Survey of India (GSI) on Inner Ring Road near Kathipara Junction to Chennai Metro Rail Limited.
The piece of land would accommodate four piers and would be crucial for the completion of the first stretch of Metro Rail between Koyambedu and St. Thomas Mount on time.
According to official spokesperson of the CMRL, the transfer of the 2,633 sq. m piece of land belonging to the GSI was the penultimate bottleneck to be cleared to facilitate the test run of Metro Rail on the Koyambedu-St. Thomas Mount leg in December 2013.
The only remaining bottleneck on the stretch now is the transfer of a piece of land belonging to the Ministry of Defence. If this piece of land is transferred, the work on the stretch would gain momentum with completion of four more piers to pave the way for the test run as scheduled.
The Koyambedu-St. Thomas Mount stretch is part of Corridor II of the project and connects Chennai Central, Vepery, Kilpauk Medical College, Aminjikarai, Shenoy Nagar, Annanagar East, Anna Nagar 2nd avenue, Tirumangalam, Koyambedu, CMBT, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar, SIDCO, Alandur and St.Thomas Mount.
The land transfer between the GSI, the Ministry of Mines and the CMRL would be done at a cost of Rs.11.34 crore. An agreement will be signed shortly.
The Phase I work is expected to be completed by 2015. The Saidapet-Airport stretch, if things go as planned, would be completed in 2014 and would provide a convenient, efficient, modern and economical mode of public transport.
The Chennai Metro Rail Project was sanctioned by the Centre in February 2009 for a length of 45.05 km at an estimated completion cost of Rs.14,600 crore. The project is being implemented by the CMRL, a joint venture Special Purpose Vehicle of Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu with equity participation on 50:50 basis.
The project has two corridors, one connecting Washermanpet to Chennai Airport (23.085 km) and the other linking Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount (21.961 km). An MoU was executed between the Government of India, the Government of Tamil Nadu and the CMRL in February 2011. As per the MoU, the cost of land would be borne by the State government as interest-free subordinate debt to the CMRL.