Finally, after years of waiting, commuters can travel through the entire 45 km of Chennai Metro Rail, with the opening of 10 km stretch from AG-DMS to Washermanpet on February 10. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswamy will be inaugurating this stretch from Tiruppur.
Highly placed sources told The Hindu, Prime Minister Modi who will be in Tiruppur on Sunday, will launch this final stretch in Chennai, through video conference. “Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Housing And Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Minister for Industries M.C. Sampath are likely to be present for the inauguration ceremony in the city at Chennai Central Metro Rail station,” a source said.
The construction of Chennai Metro Rail’s phase I project built at a cost of ₹14,600 crore has been on for nearly seven years now; this final 10 km stretch from AG-DMS to Washermanpet will be entirely underground and have stations at Washermanpet, Mannady, Madras High Court, Chennai Central, Government Estate, LIC, Thousand Lights and AG-DMS. This stretch received the final safety approval from Commissoner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) only in the last week of January.
Now that this stretch is open, commuters can directly take a ride from Washermanpet to Chennai airport, a distance of nearly 21 km in about 45 minutes. This will also provide commuters from north Chennai, connectivity with other transport hubs like Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore and CMBT, and allows them to switch from Chennai Metro to other modes of transport like bus, suburban or MRTS.
Since 2015, the 45 km network has been opened in six stretches, with the first one being Koyambedu to Alandur (June 2015), Little Mount to Chennai airport (September 2016), Alandur to St. Thomas Mount (October 2016), Koyambedu to Nehru Park (May 2017), Nehru Park to Chennai Central (May 2018) and Little Mount to AG-DMS (May 2018).