MRTS Link to connect Velachery with Tambaram

Residents of areas between Tambaram and Velachery in Chennai, may soon have a faster and comfortable mode of transport for daily commute, with the government planning a transit system, most probably a metro rail or a light metro line. Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), which now operates a 45km rail network in the city, will conduct feasibility studies and prepare a detailed project report.

In his customary address on the floor of the assembly, on Monday, governor Banwarilal Purohit said, “To address increasing traffic congestion on Tambaram-Velachery corridor, the government will establish a rail based transit system for a total of 15.5km and Chennai Metro Rail Limited will prepare a feasibility report.”

Sources said the line will come up along Velachery Main Road, which was one of the routes proposed to be linked by monorail between Velachery and Vandalur via Madipakkam, Pallikaranai, Medavakkam, Selaiyur and Tambaram. “These localities are fast developing and if this link is connected, commuters can reach Tambaram to travel to Guduvanchery and beyond,” an official said. However, the decision to operate a rail service may depend on the investment the government is ready to make as well as the potential passenger traffic along the corridor.

The feasibility study will involve collecting extensive data on public transport users and private vehicles on the route. Based on the existing passenger traffic, a forecast for the coming decades and peak hour traffic will be assessed before the type of rail system suitable for the stretch is decided.

CMRL had earlier proposed lining a part of Kathipara-Poonamallee corridor, suggested for monorail, to the 118.9km metro phase-2. While Kathipara is linked to Alandur in phase-1, the remaining areas like Porur, SRMC Hospital, Iyyappanthangal, Kattupakkam, Kumananchavadu and Karayanchavadi are now part of phase-2.

The decision to build a metro rail network on the planned monorail route was made after CMRL conducted a comprehensive study on the passenger flow along the route and found that the high traffic density between Porur and Poonamallee could only be handled by metro rail.

The governors said the state had decided to extend the metro rail corridor by 15.3km from Chennai Airport to Kilambakkam, where a new mofussil bus stand is coming up.

On the three-corridor 118.9km phase-2 project, which is estimated to cost 69,180 crore, the governor said JICA had agreed to fund a stretch of 52.01km and the first tranche of the loan agreement has been signed. Multilateral assistance from Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank is being availed of for the remaining stretches. “I urge the government of India to accord early approval for their participation in the phase-2 project on a 50:50 equity sharing model adopted for phase-1,” he said.

He also said the phase-1 extension line upto Thirvottiyir/ Wimco Nagar will be completed by mid-2020.

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