Koyambedu-Mount Metro stretch to be ready by 2013

Special Correspondent

The target date for completing I phase of the project is 2015

Major portion of project is to be executed on government land only

State government trying to integrate other modes of transport with Metro Rail

CHENNAI: Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. is planning to inaugurate the elevated stretch of Koyambedu – St.Thomas Mount by 2013, though the target date for completing the first phase of the Rs.14,000-crore project is 2015.

The first phase of the project consists of two corridors — from Washermenpet to Airport; and from the Chennai central to St. Thomas Mount.

Talking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, after reviewing the progress of the project with officials, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd Chairman M. Ramachandran, who is also the Secretary to the Union Ministry of Urban Development, hoped that it would be possible to run the services on this portion of the elevated stretch if the current progress was maintained.

As of now, the work was progressing as per schedule and the Board of Directors had charted out the work schedule for the current financial year. About Rs 2,000 crore had been allocated for carrying out the work.

Mr. Ramachandran said tenders for design and construction of three viaducts — Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar, Ashok Nagar to St.Thomas Mount and Saidapet to Officers Training Academy (OTA) — had already been awarded and the work was in progress. Tender for construction of one more viaduct would be awarded soon. By the end of current year, one could see visible progress of the project.

Regarding land acquisition, he said it would not be a problem as major portion of the project was to be executed on government land only. Most of the public facilities would be provided on public land and the project at the most required seven hectares of private land. The company had already appointed a private consultant to negotiate with land-owners.

The company was eager to set up parking facilities in all major stations and it was negotiating with the Chennai Corporation and other local bodies on how best it could be provided.

Mr.Ramachandran said the CMRL would be a standard gauge project. In the absence of sufficient standard gauge coach manufacturing units in the country, the company would float global tenders for acquiring the stocks.

T.V. Somanathan, Managing Director of the company, who was also present, admitted that there would be some traffic disruption while executing the project. But the company was trying its level best to minimise the traffic disruption. The State government was trying to integrate other modes of transport with the Metro Rail for the convenience of commuters.