Chennai Metro Rail Project gets go-ahead

Friday, January 30, 2009, 7:36 by Business Editor

With the Chennai Metro Rail project receiving a green signal from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of the Union Government in a meeting headed by India’s external affair minister Pranab Mukherjee on 28 Jan 2009, the commuters in Chennai can now breathe a sigh of relief.

The Chennai metro rail is a rupees 14.600 crore project which aims to provide Chennai with an efficient twin corridor mode of public transport. The project is expected to be completed in 2014-15, and is to be implemented by Chennai Metro Rail Limited. Around 59% of the total cost will be met by concessional Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan from the Japanese government. India and Japan had signed the loan agreement on November 21st, 2008 in Tokyo.

The Chennai metro rail project aims to provide less travel time for the passengers and a larger capacity per rail to ease the growing number of commuters in Chennai. With the total length of 45 km to be covered by the project, the Metro will connect Washermanpet and Chennai Airport and Chennai Fort and St Thomas Mount, with both the corridors partially running underground. Reports suggest that of the total stretch of 45 kms, 24kms will be underground and the rest over ground.

The details of the project are as follows: Corridor 1, with a length of 23.1kms (14.3 kms underground and 8.8 kms elevated), will run from Washermanpet to the Airport via Anna Salai. Corridor II, with a length of 22 kms (9.7 kms underground and 12.3 kms elevated), will run from Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount via Koyambedu. The portions of Corridor I from Washermanpet to Saidapet on Anna Salai, and Corridor II on Periyar EVR Salai and Anna Nagar 2nd Avenue, will be underground.

It was in the year 2006 that Tamil Nadu Cabinet decided to implement the metro rail project in Chennai. The project got thumbs up on January 28th and is being considered one of the finest projects in Asia.

The Project is expected to live up to the estimates that have been made. The estimate that the trains will run every five minutes is expected to touch perfection with the completion of the project. A person commuting in Chennai is expected  enjoy short journey time with a cut in the present journey time by 50 to 75 %; a passenger will be able to travel from Central Station to Anna Nagar in 14 minutes (30 to 40 minutes by bus) and from Mannady to Airport in 44 minutes (75-90 minutes by bus). A huge number of passengers (around 13 lakh per day) who take the road route are expected to be shifted to the rail route with the completion of this project.

After the success of the metro rail project in New Delhi, several cities have kickstarted their own metro projects. It is estimated that Mumbai, Kochi and now Chennai will have completed metro projects within the next 5-6 years.

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