Chennai Metro’s mammoth phase II project traversing 118.9 km of the city, with 128 stations, will be fully operational by 2026 if work progresses without delays.
According to Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) officials, tenders will be called for by June or July and, by early next year, the construction work should begin. “Since the election code of conduct will be in place soon and continue till the elections are over, the tendering process can take place only after that. By the time the tendering process is over, it may be early January and a month or two later, the construction will begin. From the time of construction beginning, it will take six years to finish the work and start operations,” an official said.
Design work begins
Meanwhile, the detailed design consultants have started work on some stretches. In a few months, a general consultant will be appointed to monitor the project.
Chennai Metro’s phase II is estimated to cost ₹69,180 crore and will criss-cross major areas of the city with three corridors — Madhavaram to Shollinganallur (47 km), Lighthouse to Poonamallee (26.1 km) and Madhavaram to SIPCOT (45.8 km). “There were some changes in the detailed project report recently, and we cut down the total number of underground stretches and underground stations as well to cut costs,” another official said.
Of this 118.9 km, Chennai Metro will first build 52 km of network between Madhavaram and CMBT and Madhavaram and Shollinganallur.
To avoid delays by contractors, Chennai Metro plans to carry out station, viaduct and tunnelling work independently for phase II. “Earlier, in phase I, they had to work in coordination and that meant if the tunnelling or viaduct work was delayed, there was a consequential delay in station work too. This time, there will be separate tenders for every part of construction work,” he added.