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More light on Metro Rail sought

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WHAT’S IN STORE?: A participant posing a question at the public hearing on the Chennai Metro Rail project, held in Vepery on Tuesday.
WHAT’S IN STORE?: A participant posing a question at the public hearing on the Chennai Metro Rail project, held in Vepery on Tuesday.

Staff Reporter

Questions about routes, locations of stations, fare structure dominate hearing

Representatives from different areas such as Thousand Lights, Teynampet participated

Concept of transfer of development rights, to be introduced in the Second Master Plan, discussed

CHENNAI: Day two of the public hearing on the Metro Rail project here on Tuesday saw residents of various localities, including those along Anna Salai, demanding specific information on the project routes and highlighting the need to have a nominal fare structure for the services.

Some of the common questions at the interactive sessions, chaired by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) officials, pertained to details about the routes, location of the stations, and the buildings or lands to be affected by the project.

Master Plan

The concept of transfer of development rights, to be introduced in the Second Master Plan and its provisions for the affected people, as part of the rehabilitation measures, was discussed at the forenoon meeting at Rani Seethai Hall, Anna Salai.

Representatives of residents and commercial establishments in different areas, including Thousand Lights, Teynampet and Chamiers Road participated in it.

While welcoming the project, the participants wanted the construction waste and the garbage generated at the stations to be disposed off properly. An official of CMRL said the construction waste would be dumped in the Kodungaiyur and Perungudi yards after consultations with the State Pollution Control Board and Chennai Corporation.

V.P. Mani, who represented a traders’ association, said the notice period of two weeks for the traders to vacate the buildings was not enough. Gopalan of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited emphasised the need for coordination among the departments concerned during shifting of public utilities for the project. Responding to a query from Vijay of Kottur Gardens about facilities at the stations, an official of the CMRL said each station would have elevators and two entrances. Conceding that the MRTS project was “delayed and not a happy experience,” he added that the proposed Metro Rail corridors (Old Washermenpet-Chennai Airport and Chennai Fort station-St.Thomas Mount) would be completed and would become fully operational in six years from the project commencement date.

On the fare, the official said that it would be comparable to the ordinary bus fare in the city and less than the present fare of air-conditioned buses.

At the afternoon meeting held in Vepery for residents of Egmore, Vepery, Mannady and Poonamallee High Road, the participants wanted to know whether sufficient compensation would be provided to the affected people.

An official said that besides compensation or alternative site, subsistence wages and a shifting allowance of Rs.20,000, would be given.

On the road space required for the elevated corridor, an official said the pillars would be two metres wide and the elevated corridor 9 m wide and it would not affect the road traffic. A representative from St. Andrew’s Kirk on Poonamallee High Road wanted to know the likely impact of underground rail system on heritage buildings.

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