Work speeds up on MRTS extension project between Velachery and St. Thomas Mount

Major link:  Construction work in progress near the St. Thomas Mount railway station on Thursday.

Major link: Construction work in progress near the St. Thomas Mount railway station on Thursday.

The long-delayed construction of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) extension project from Velachery to St. Thomas Mount station is racing ahead with the Southern Railway hopeful of completing it by July.

The project announced by then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has been caught in delays for over a decade because of issues relating to land acquisition.

With the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) finally handing over land in the final stretch in January 2021, the Southern Railway started construction to link the elevated stretch near the St. Thomas Mount railway station. The project will have a multi-modal transport facility of suburban trains and Metro services.

‘Only hurdle’

B. Guganesan, Chief Public Relations Officer, Southern Railway, said land acquisition was the only major hurdle for the project and the other work, including the building of two stations at Adambakkam and Puzhithivakkam, cabin modification at Velachery station and a majority of track line installation, had all been completed. A 1.5-km stretch between Adambakkam and St. Thomas Mount was the problematic portion.

In the stretch, 80% of foundation and 60% of substructure work to construct elevated tracks have been completed. Elevated track construction work will commence shortly after the last two piers are built, he added.

The Southern Railway is pinning its hopes on attracting more commuters in the MRTS section with the linking of the Velachery and St. Thomas Mount stations. For the large residential population in and around Adambakkam and Puzhuthivakkam, the MRTS service will be a boon, especially since there was no other dependable public transport in the area.

The extension project will cover several residential localities in south Chennai, including Madipakkam, Ullagaram-Puzhithivakkam, west Velachery, Adambakkam, Nanganallur, Vanuvampet and Pazhavanthangal.

Even as residents in Velachery welcome the extension of the MRTS, they want some of train services originating from the Velachery railway station.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 1:36:31 pm |