Chennai Metro Rail phase II to be completed in 6 years
Design is ready and land acquisition almost done: officials
Learning from experience and armed with a detailed design, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) plans to complete the phase II project within six years.
Phase II will span 118.9 km from the northern end to the southern end of the city with three corridors — Madhavaram to SIPCOT, Madhavaram to Sholinganallur and Light House to Poonamallee.
Any Metro project needs a detailed design component which acts like a guide for a contractor, listing finer details on how a station, tunnel or viaduct should be built.
According to CMRL officials, this detailed design component and land acquisition are the main causes for delays. However, in the case of phase II, nearly 90% of the detailed design has been already completed. A good portion of the land has been acquired and the process of acquiring the remaining portions is under way, officials said.
“In phase I, the contractor had to design and build the stations, which caused delay. In addition, land acquisition was not easy in some locations. So, we decided to start with the detailed design ahead of construction and gave contracts to certain firms. They have finished most of the work now and the remaining designs will be ready soon. We will hand them over to the contractors so they can immediately start construction,” an official said.
The phase II project could face other challenges which would need solid planning and execution, another official said.
In the Madhavaram-SIPCOT stretch, underground stations have to be built in congested areas, like Purasawalkam, Perambur and Royapettah, without affecting nearby buildings.
“Traffic planning has to be meticulous so commuters do not waste fuel and lose time. The shifting of utility lines has to be done in coordination with the other departments. If any of them are not done properly, it will wreak havoc, hamper the implementation greatly and make life difficult for commuters. They should ensure contractors stick to deadlines,” the official said.
CMRL has floated tenders for civil work and plans to give out contracts soon, with construction aimed to start next year.