The stretch connects Velachery to Adambakkam
The stretch connecting Velachery to Adambakkam under Phase II extension of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) is likely to be ready by July-August.
“The laying of tracks, structural installations in this segment and the intermediate stations at Adambakkam and Puzhuthivakkam are nearing completion,” said S. Vijayakumaran, Additional General Manager, Southern Railway.
The development of this 3.5-km segment under the Rs. 495 crore Phase II extension of MRTS had been bogged down in legal wrangles related to land acquisition in the heavily populated areas through which the elevated line was proposed.
Once this stretch is opened, it would leave the Railways hoping for a favourable verdict from the court to commence work on the remaining 1.5 km Adambakkam-St. Thomas Mount segment, that has been like the last but most challenging piece of a jigsaw puzzle.
It is this tiny stretch that has been holding up ambitious plans to evolve a futuristic transportation network that integrated the city’s MRTS, suburban and upcoming Chennai Metro Rail systems at the St. Thomas Mount station.Delayed by litigation
For the last three years, work on the last leg of the MRTS Phase II extension between Adambakkam and St. Thomas Mount has been stalled after a few residents resorted to litigation opposing a changed alignment on the grounds that it ran across thickly populated neighbourhoods. The Railways’ claim is that the displacement of residential properties would be minimal as the MRTS line was proposed along elevated girders that rise at least 12 metres above the road surface.
The three-tiered St. Thomas station with four platforms was being given a massive Rs. 120 crore upgrade that would transform it into a hub for inter-modal transportation, officials said. Under the plan for facilitating smooth crossover between modes of travel, it is proposed to operate MRTS services on level one at Mount station, Metro Rail on level two and suburban as well as a few express trains on level three.
“However, there is a concern that any further delay in the MRTS extension project could lead to scrapping of the final phase leaving a dead-end at Adambakkam,” a senior railway official said.