Coimbatore Metro Rail Project: Works on the MRTS expected to commence soon

Unveiling the Future of Coimbatore: A Modern Metro System for Enhanced Connectivity and Vibrant Tourism

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Representational image only
Representational image only

Overview

The Coimbatore Metro is a rapid transit system proposed for Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The Coimbatore Metro Rail Project was first unveiled in December 2017. Apart from the Coimbatore Metro, additional projects such as the Avinashi Athikadavu Project and new flyovers were completed during the MGR Centenary celebrations in Coimbatore. Coimbatore is a lovely city located amidst the lush green Western Ghats, perched on the banks of the bubbling Noyyal River. Coimbatore, formerly known as Kovai, is home to breathtaking natural tourist spots, elaborately crafted temples, and ultra-luxurious commercial locations and areas. Because of its well-established cotton industry, it is known as the ‘Manchester of the South‘.

Visit Coimbatore and explore its many tourist attractions. We can begin our time in the city by visiting the massive Adiyogi Shiva edifice, which is located in the midst of the beautiful and fascinating Velliangiri Mountains. Then, proceed on a spiritual journey by seeing Coimbatore’s magnificent temples, such as Marudhamalai Hill Temple, Ayyappan Temple, Velliangiri Hill Temple, and Perur Siva Temple. Continuing with the voyage, when you want to be alone with nature, just visit the babbling Vydehi Falls and the Monkey Falls. The beautiful flora and fauna of Coimbatore can also be explored at Nilgiris Biosphere Nature Park. Also, the ivory stream of Siruvani Waterfall is sure to take one’s breath away.

Coimbatore is an excellent family destination for families looking for an exciting vacation with their children. People can go to Kovai Kondattam Amusement Park and experience various water-based slides, or they can rest at VOC Park and Zoo. The Coimbatore Metro line would make it possible to visit all of these beautiful locations and more at a fair price. In addition, one would be able to visit all popular and interesting tourist destinations in the least possible time.

Project Development

In 2010, the Central Government planned a metro rail system for 16 tier-2 cities, including Coimbatore. While the Tamil Nadu government abandoned the project in 2011 in favour of a monorail. The Coimbatore Railway Struggle Committee also objected to the implementation of the metro rail project in Coimbatore. E. Sreedharan conducted a survey in 2013 and proclaimed metro rail as a viable mode of transportation for Coimbatore. A Coimbatore District Administration official indicated in January 2017 that no mass rapid system was currently being considered for Coimbatore. In 2017, the Tamil Nadu government again made a proposal for a metro rail system in Coimbatore. 

Suresh Prabhu, then Railway Minister, declared that the Central Government was ready to develop and fund a metro rail project in Coimbatore. The state government had also given its approval for metro rail. The construction was supposed to start in the fiscal year 2017/18; however, it didn’t. CM, Edipaddi K. Palaniswami, unveiled a metro rail proposal for Coimbatore. He further stated that the feasibility study and Detailed Project Report (DPR) shall be carried out by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), with funding provided by the German-based KFW company. CMRL issued a tender notice for the project’s DPR and feasibility report.

Systra Group was awarded the contract to prepare the feasibility study and DPR. The feasibility report was submitted to the government for approval. The Systra Group also approached and engaged the district administration and the city municipal corporation to provide information concerning development work to be carried out on city and state highways, national highways, and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) roads. The DPR was then planned to be prepared by a private firm based on information provided by the district administration and the corporation. This project was planned as Metro rail, then converted to monorail, then back to Metro rail, then Metro Rail Lite, and finally back to Metro Rail.

The Coimbatore metro rail project was officially declared in the Assembly, with construction set to commence in fiscal year 2017-2018. It was announced in February 2019 that a period of one year would be set aside to prepare the project’s Detailed Project Report (DPR). This system, like the Chennai Metro, was planned to connect all major transportation centres, including the Coimbatore and Podanur Railway Junctions, the Ukkadam and Gandhipuram Bus Stands, the Vellalore Bus Terminal and the Coimbatore Airport. Unless the road width is insufficient, the stations have been planned to be elevated, primarily on the major route.

According to the detailed and comprehensive project report, the Coimbatore Metro has been planned to be divided into three distinct phases. In the first phase, two corridors have been planned, the first connecting Vellalore Bus Terminal to PSG Foundry through Ukkadam Bus Stand and providing airport line connectivity from Park Plaza (total length of 31.73 km). The Collectorate Metro has been envisaged to be connected to Valliyum Palayam Pirivu via the second (14.13 km) corridor. The Collectorate Metro, which would most likely be built in the Collectorate’s eastern end, shall serve as a connecting station for these lines.

Timeline & Important Dates

  • 2011: The Central Government, under former PM Manmohan Singh, announced metro rail projects for Tier II cities, including Coimbatore.
  • 2011: Former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s government abandoned and shelved the metro rail project in favour of the monorail.
  • 2013: E. Sreedharan conducted a survey and recommended metro rail as a mode of transportation for Coimbatore.
  • 2017: The Tamil Nadu government, under the leadership of former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, again proposed a metro rail project for Coimbatore.
  • 2017: The Tamil Nadu government directed CMRL to issue tenders. CMRL issued a tender notice for the preparation of the Coimbatore Metro’s DPR and feasibility report.
  • 2018: German-based KFW Group, select and shortlists five firms to prepare the DPR and feasibility study for Coimbatore Metro.
  • 2019: Feasibility study and the detailed project report under preparation by the Systra Group.
  • 2019: Systra Group contacts the district administration and city municipal corporation to obtain information regarding development work to be carried out in the city and state highways, national highways, and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) roads. A private firm to prepare the DPR based on the information provided by the district administration and the corporation.
  • 2020: CMRL met with Highways Department and Coimbatore Corporation officials to discuss the metro project’s implementation. Because of the issue with the Ukkadam flyover, it was suggested that a segment of the metro line should be modified. A metro line planned to be built up to Vellalore to connect the new bus terminal.
  • 2021: The Tamil Nadu government allocates Rs. 6,683 crores to the Coimbatore Metro Rail Project. 
  • 2021: RITES issues a tender for the topographical survey of the Coimbatore Metro Rail Project.
  • 2021: Land survey commences for Coimbatore Metro Rail Project.
  • 2021: Prime Meridian begins the survey work for the Coimbatore metro feasibility study.
  • 2022 : Finance Minister PTR. Palanivel Thiagarajan states CMRL to be in the last stages of preparing a detailed project report, with funds to be allocated by the central government soon to begin the construction works.
  • 2023: In the 2023 – 24 Budget session, Rs 9000 crore allocated for the Coimbatore Metro rail portion between Avinashi Road and Sathyamangalam Road.

Route Map
KfW shortlists five firms for preparation of feasibility & DPR for  Coimbatore

In 2019, the Chennai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (CMRL) conducted a feasibility study for a 144-kilometre metro rail project. CMRL planned to build five metro routes in Coimbatore. The construction of these five corridors is envisaged to stimulate the economic and social activities in the city. Further, the state government sets up Rs 10,000 crores for phase II of the Chennai metro train project spanning 119 km. The elevated corridor connecting the Poonamallee depot to the Kodambakkam Powerhouse is scheduled to open in December 2025.

The Coimbatore Metro has been planned to be built in three phases, according to the project study. The first phase shall consist of two routes, the first connecting Vellalore Bus Terminal to PSG Foundry through Ukkadam Bus Stand and offering airport line connectivity from Park Plaza (a distance of 31.73 kilometres). The second corridor (14.13 km) is proposed to connect the Collectorate Metro to Valliyum Palayam Pirivu. The Collectorate Metro, which is expected to be built on the Collectorate’s eastern end, has been proposed to act as a connecting point for these lines. A brief detail of the route map and the projected lines and corridor of the planned metro system is outlined as under:

Corridor NoLineFromToViaLength
(km)
1Red LineUkkadam Bus TerminusKarumathampattiCoimbatore Junction, Peelamedu, Coimbatore International Airport29
2Yellow LineUkkadam Bus TerminusBilichiSaibaba Colony Bus Terminus, Thudiyalur24
3Blue LineKaranampettaiThaneerpandalSinganallur Bus Terminus, Ukkadam Bus Terminus42
4Green LineNallur VayalGaneshapuramPerur, Gandhipuram Central Bus Terminus, Saravanampatti44
5Pink LineUkkadam Bus TerminusCoimbatore Integrated Bus TerminusPodanur Junction8

The first phase of the ‘Coimbatore Metro’ is projected to cover 44 km from the Coimbatore Integrated Bus Terminus to Neelambur and from the District Collector Office to Valiyampalayam Pirivu at a cost of Rs. 9,424 crores. The DPR proposed a Metrolite model for the city, but authorities stated that the decision on whether to make it a metrolite or keep it as a metro shall remain with the state government. The first phase focuses on the implementation of Corridor 5 (pink line) between Coimbatore Integrated Bus Terminus and Ukkadam Bus Terminus fully, as well as partially completing Corridor 1 (red line) between Ukkadam Bus Terminus and Neelambur and Corridor 4 (green line) between Ukkadam Bus Terminus and Valiyampalayam Pirivu. Phase 1 would include important transportation hubs in the city, including Coimbatore Integrated Bus Terminus, Coimbatore International Airport, Gandhipuram Central Bus Terminus, Coimbatore Junction, Ukkadam Bus Terminus, and Podanur Junction, with 40 stations planned. It shall also link major business areas including Townhall, Ukkadam, and Gandhipuram.

Phase 2 and Phase 3

The remaining parts of Corridors 1 and 4 and the complete portion of Corridors 2 and 3 has been planned to be completed in Phase 2 and 3.

Prominent & Important Metro Stations

Coimbatore Junction Metro Station 

This Coimbatore metro station has been planned to be connected to the city’s main railway station, Coimbatore Junction. This railway station, which has six platforms, is also one of the most significant ones in South India. From here, one may catch a train to places like Chennai, Delhi, and Jaipur.

Podanur Junction Metro Station 

Passengers shall be able to easily and quickly reach to Podanur Junction from this metro station on the Coimbatore Metro route. Podanur Junction, the city’s first railway station, is managed by the Southern Railway Zone. The station has five platforms and serves both local and long-distance trains.

Saravanampatti Metro Station 

This metro station on the Coimbatore Metro route connects visitors to the affluent neighbourhood of Saravanampatti. It is home to a number of famous IT companies as well as about 50,000 IT experts and professionals.

Town Hall Metro Station 

This Coimbatore metro station would be in the city’s heart and connected to the commercial hub of Town Hall. It is home to a number of significant locations, including Oppanakara Street, Ukkadam, and NH Road. It is also close to Gandhipuram Central Bus Station and Ukkadam Bus Station.

Planned Metro Facilities

The Coimbatore metro route is being planned with the passengers’ needs and preferences in mind and will provide the maximum comfort and a seamless travel experience, as well as a wide choice of basic and premium services for a relaxing and peaceful voyage. Passengers who need to park their personal vehicles before boarding the metro would be provided with parking space. In metro stations, escalators and lifts are also being built to make it easier to access the desired platform. A pedestrian overbridge has also been constructed to allow travellers to securely cross the road. Other amenities would be accessible at the Coimbatore metro stations as well. It has been proposed that the Coimbatore metro stations be built through a Public-Private Partnership in desirable locations such as airports, railway stations, bus terminals, large institutions, shopping malls, and other venues, allowing travellers to quickly reach the city’s key points.

Key Figures

The Coimbatore metro is being built in three stages. The first phase includes twenty-six stations which would run from the PSG Foundry to the Vellalore Bus Terminal. The Coimbatore metro’s second corridor is intended to run from Vaiyampalayam Pirivu to Collectorate Metro. Phase two shall also include five separate lines on various routes. According to recent reports, the CMRL intends to build five more corridors in the Coimbatore metro.

  • Operational: 0 Km
  • Under Construction: 0 Km
  • Approved: 0 Km
  • Proposed: 136 Km

Latest Update

Coimbatore Metro Rail is scheduled to open in 2027 at a cost of Rs 9,424 crore. The project will be completed in three phases: Collectorate to Valiyampalayam (14.1 km), Vellalore-Avanashi Road-Coimbatore Airport-PSG Foundry (31.7 km), for a total distance of 45.8 km. The second phase will cover 13 kilometres from Coimbatore Railway Junction to Pappampatty and 18.1 kilometres from Coimbatore Railway Junction to Periyanaickenpalayam, for a total distance of 31.1 km. PSG Foundry to Kaniyur 9.2 km, Valiampalayam to Ganesapuram 10.5 km, Pappampatti to Carltonpet 11.8 km, Periyanaickenpalayam to Bilichi 7.8 km, and Town Hall to Karunya Nagar 27.7 km shall be covered in the third phase.

Further, it has been proposed to extend Corridor 3 as part of Phase 2 of the Coimbatore metro route. A feasibility study would be conducted to see whether metro routes could be linked to NH 45 and Old Mamallapuram Road. More feasibility tests for the extension of Corridors 4 and 5 have been planned to be conducted in order to cover a larger portion of the city.

The state government included funding for Coimbatore metro in its budget. The government has plans to contribute roughly Rs 9000 crores to the Coimbatore metro rail project, according to Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan. The project has been envisaged run along Avinashi Road and Sathyamangalam Road. The Chennai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (CMRL) undertook a feasibility study for a 144-kilometre metro rail project in 2019. In Coimbatore, CMRL proposes to operate five metro corridors. The development of these five corridors will boost economic and social activity in the city. Additionally, the state government has earmarked Rs 10,000 crores for the 119-kilometre-long phase II of the Chennai metro rail project. The elevated corridor, which shall connect the Poonamallee depot to the Kodambakkam Powerhouse, is expected to open in December 2025.

2 COMMENTS

  1. 1. Put on hold the already much delayed metro rail project for Coimbatore.
    2. Let them run EMU service first around Coimbatore connecting North CBE, Peelamedu, Singanallur, Irugur,Sulur, Ondipudur, Singanallur south, Nanjundapuram, Podanur and back to CBE main.No major infrastructure expenses involved in this. Only to add an additional line between Irugur and Podanur. To start with a two coach service on either way once in 15 minutes. This will reduce the traffic on the Avinashi & Trichy roads.( Just to remind you my brother was using train to go to school daily from Singanallur south to CBE main via Nanjundapuram during 1960s).
    3. Build an all together new greenfield airport some 20 km away from city either on Trichy road or Salem highway and connect it with an exclusive metro line.
    4. Convert the present airport as a Central bus station and plan all your metro rail routes centred around it. Then the metro rail service will be useful.
    5. Improve platform facilities at Peelamedu Singanallur Irugur Sulur etc and allow all express trains to stop for a minute either way. This way congestion at Coimbatore main will reduce. There is no scope to improve the CBE main for want of space. Several important colleges and other educationsl institutions are located close to these stations mentioned above.
    Please pass on above suggestions to concerned authorities. Hope better sense prevails.

  2. Integrated bus stand in coimbatore is the need of the hour, either in vellalore Or any other area

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