Chennai: The most-awaited first underground stretch of Chennai Metro Rail will be operational on Sunday. With this, Chennai becomes the fourth city in the country to launch such a facility after Kolkata, Delhi and Bengaluru. The metro line will cover a distance of eight kilometres from Nehru Park to Koyambedu. The train would pass through tunnels and seven underground stations in order to connect the operational line at Koyambedu. The metro line will be thrown open for public on Sunday. Meanwhile, the stations are also built underneath prime locations in the city that gives travellers easy access. The underground stretch will have only two entry and exit points initially which would later be increased.
When the first underground stretch is opened on Sunday, passengers across the city can travel a distance of 17 km from Nehru Park to Chennai airport. The maximum fare will increase to Rs 60 for the 17-km stretch from Nehru Park to Chennai airport when this stretch becomes operational. As of now, the metro fares range between Rs 10 and Rs 50 for the general class and Rs 20 and Rs100 for the special class.
Salient features of the Chennai Metro:
- The underground stations will be air-conditioned and equipped with a special feature called ‘platform screen doors’, unlike on the elevated stretch.
- This would prevent commuters from accessing the tracks.
- The Chennai Metro Rail is built at a cost of Rs 14,600 crore.
- The line will cover a distance of 8 kilometres from Nehru Park to Koyambedu.
- This would be the third Metro stretch to become operational since the project was launched in 2012.
- The existing routes Koyambedu to Alandur and Little Mount to Chennai airport have been elevated.
The much anticipated Chennai metro rail will be inaugurated after a wait for two weeks and Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu is likely to attend the inauguration ceremony. The first service of the metro was from Koyambedu to Alandur in June 2015. The second stretch from Little Mount to Chennai airport was opened to public in last September.
Ease for Commuters
- The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has split the six stations into two groups.
- Stations that include Tondiarpet, Toll Gate and Thangal form the first group.
- The other stations including Gowri Ashram, Tiruvottiyur and Wimco Nagar form the second group. Out of the total 9km line, trains will run underground in a 3km stretch from Washermenpet to Korukkupet, a TOI report stated.
- The metro stations are also located close to stops for MTC buses which can help passengers travel across the city.
- The metro line stations will connect Kilpauk, New Avadi Road, Shenoy Nagar, Aminjikarai, Anna Nagar and Thirumangalam.
At present, about 10,000-12,000 people travel on the two stretches Koyambedu to Alandur and Little Mount to Chennai airport and this underground metro rail is believed to take up the number up to a new level.
As per reports, the total expenditure included 15% as Centre’s contribution as share capital and 5% as loans, while the Tamil Nadu government’s contribution at 15% in share capital and 5.78% as loans. The rest 59.22% has been sourced as loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).