TAMIL NADU

Metro to build Light Rail between Tambaram, Velachery

Feasibility study for 15-km stretch will begin soon

Chennai Metro has now a new project in its kitty — a plan to build the first Light Rail project for the city, that will connect Velachery with Tambaram.

In a meeting on Thursday, it was decided Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) will construct the stretch. A feasibility study will begin shortly, highly placed sources told The Hindu .

This stretch is likely to cover a distance of nearly 15 km. Unlike the Metro phase I project covering 45 km or the phase I extension project of 9 km, which have elevated and underground stretches, the light rail is likely to be at-grade (built on ground).

“Similar to phase I, phase I extension projects, the feasibility study too will be given to a private firm. This will begin in a few weeks and is likely to take about 6-8 months. The study will look at various route options for the stretch. After that, there will be discussions on which route works out to be the best after which the detailed project report will be prepared,” an official said.

The CMRL plans to explore options, including the one touching Pallikaranai, Medavakkam, Gowrivakkam and then subsequently East Tambaram.

“The idea is to get the light rail through dense residential areas in the southern parts of the city,” the official said.

Link MRTS

The plan is to link it with Velachery MRTS system as well, so that passengers who may want to switch systems and head to areas connected by this network, may be able to do so at ease.

One of the primary reasons for choosing Light Rail over Metro Rail, is that it would cost much less, sources said. For instance, building one kilometre of an elevated stretch of Metro will cost Rs. 200-250 crore and underground Rs. 500-550 crore. But Light Rail may be built with Rs. 100 crore per kilometre.

“The Light Rails can take sharp turns and travel through dense and narrow stretches unlike the Metro,” another official said.

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