The much-anticipated metro rail line to link the IT hub on Old Mahabalipuram Road may take a backseat as Chennai MetroRail Limited (CMRL) will begin work on Phase 2 with the design and construction of the facility to connect the suburban and core areas of the city which are primarily dependent on MTC buses. Some of these stations planned will run parallel to existing MRTS stations, which are expected to be taken over by CMRL in December.
Vijay Kumar Singh, Chief General Manager, underground section said a consultant to make a detailed design for corridors 4 and 5 would be appointed next month and work would begin in July. “In six to eight months preliminary design will be ready. Work will begin on corridors 4 and 5 on a priority basis and these will be ready in six years,” he said on May 29 during a media tour of the stretch between Little Mount and AG-DMS, which was opened on May 25. Initially, OMR was supposed to get metro connectivity before the other two corridors.
Corridor 4 will link the city through Vadapalani, Kodambakkam and T Nagar. Corridor 5 will connect the northern suburbs in and around Madhavaram with a part of OMR at Sholinganallur via Adambakkam, Madipakkam, Kovilambakkam, Medavakkam and Perumbakkam. It will be an orbital corridor connecting lines running across all radial roads including Poonamallee High Road, Anna Salai, Arcot Road and OMR.
Running along some of the stations in these corridors will be the existing MRTS facilities, which will be merged with CMRL. Singh said the actual merger may happen by 2018-end.
“Consultant report has been forwarded to southern railway for analysis and it will be sent to the railway board in Delhi. Based on their feedback, methods and modalities for integration will be decided. The report has given us various ways to go about integration and the financial model to adopt,” said L Narasim Prasad, Director, System and Operation.
In corridors 4 and 5, metro stations have been planned close to MRTS stations like Lighthouse, Thirumaylai and Adambakkam. However, the services in these stations may not be merged, as officials said the two mass transit facilities will only be integrated through walkways to provide commuters access to multi-modal transport facility. It means commuters will have to step out of metro stations and use a walkway, a pedestrian subway or a foot over-bridge to enter MRTS stations.
In a proposal last year, Southern Railway told CMRL that trains operating on the Chennai Beach-Velachery line could terminate at Fort Station instead of Beach. The merger will help CMRL operate better quality coaches on the stretch, provide a wide array of passenger amenities including food stalls and above all integrate MRTS and metro services with MTC buses.
U Tejonmayam, The Times of India, Chennai