Why COVID-19 may affect Chennai Metro’s phase I extension deadline

A file photograph of work going on at the Tiruvottiyur Metro Rail station for the Chennai Metro Rail’s phase 1 extension project

A file photograph of work going on at the Tiruvottiyur Metro Rail station for the Chennai Metro Rail’s phase 1 extension project   | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited said many parts and electrical equipment were usually purchased from China, but offices there are shut due to the epidemic

Chennai Metro Rail’s phase I extension project that links the northern part of the city to the centre, has hit a new problem now because of COVID-19. Many components that are required for the project need to come from China, and contractors are now looking for alternatives as many offices in China have been shut because of the epidemic.

According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), many parts for platform screen doors, some parts needed for civil work, electrical equipments and lifts are usually purchased from China by various contractors. Some of the contractors have already communicated to CMRL on the possible impact and delays this is likely to cause the project, sources said.

“Though most of the materials for this project have already reached the city, we are yet to procure some items. We have now instructed the contractors to look for alternatives from other countries or within India itself. For instance, for platform screen doors -- that were installed in underground stations as a safeguard to bar commuters from entering the tracks -- we have told contractors to look for glass or steel from other locations. Similarly for the civil work too, contractors are finding options in other cities. The reason they usually choose China is it is relatively cheap,” an official said.

When asked if this will have a major impact on the project, officials said there may be some effect but they will make up for it and finish the project on time. “We are hoping to get all the components soon. The work is already on in full swing, and when we receive the remaining parts for some of the work, it should be finished as well. We will ensure this doesn’t delay the project,” another official said.

Chennai Metro Rail has been planning to start operations in the phase I extension project that connects Washermanpet with Wimco Nagar, a distance of 9 km, by June this year.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 8:24:31 AM |

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