Airport-Kilambakkam Metro line work may be launched next year

Despite the presence of a suburban railway line, the CMRL hopes to attract commuters on the Airport-Kilambakkam line as Metro covers more areas. | Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ

With an estimated budget of ₹4,080 crore, Chennai Metro Rail’s extension project from Airport to Kilambakkam passing through important southern suburbs like Tambaram, Irumbuliyur, Peerkankaranai, Perungalathur and Vandalur, will be completed by 2026. Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) is likely to start construction by early 2023.

According to CMRL officials, since the 15.3-km stretch will be an elevated line along the GST Road, the construction is expected to progress at a fast pace.

Pallavaram, Kothandam Nagar, Chromepet, Mahalakshmi Colony, Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar, Tambaram, Irumbuliyur, Peerkankaranai, Perungalathur, Vandalur, Arignar Anna Zoo and Kilambakkam Bus Terminus are the 12 stations planned for this project. “Now that we have submitted the detailed project report to the State government, we have to get feedback to make any corrections. Subsequently, there will be discussions on how to take the project forward for getting the approval from the State government and the Centre and more importantly, the funds to execute this work. Once this is done, a detailed design will be made by a firm after which we can float tenders to begin construction,” an official said. The estimated budget for this project includes taxes and duties.

According to the detailed project report (DPR), CMRL can possibly start the construction by April 2023 and finish it by April 2026. But sources said deadlines and projected ridership mentioned in the DPR had never been a reality, if Phase I project is anything to go by. Getting the approvals and funding will not be easy, a source said.

Six-coach trains

The DPR states that the CMRL will operate six-coach trains on the 15.3-km stretch. But the project is an extension of the Phase I project from the Airport station. It is not clear whether CMRL will upgrade the four-coach trains in the Phase I project to six-coach trains before starting the operations. 

Despite the presence of suburban train line in the southern areas, many commuters were keen to have Metro Rail as it connects some more areas and will be integrated with the upcoming Kilambakkam Bus Terminus. But if the CMRL wants to pull in riders, it has to start feeder services in the neighbourhood which will take the commuters to the station from their residence and vice-versa, sources said. 

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2022 7:19:31 pm |