The Wimco Nagar Depot of Chennai Metro will be ready by December as per the initial deadline. According to CMRL officials, the depot is under construction on a 48,000sqm area to accommodate 11 stabling units for daily maintenance and minor repair works for trains that will be operated on a 32km corridor.
Construction work at the elevated depot and the linking phase-1 extension line in north Chennai was stopped in March due to the nationwide lockdown to control Covid spread. But CMRL (Chennai Metro Rail Ltd) officials said they have started work again. While the extension line, which was expected to be ready by mid-2020, is likely to be delayed by six months, officials said there won’t be any delay in getting the depot ready.
More than 75% of the work was complete, with the laying of tracks underway, before the lockdown began in March. “The lockdown has not caused any delays in the construction of the depot. Work is going on as per schedule and we will meet the deadline,” an official said.
“We stopped work for a month and a half and started soon after the government gave instructions to start work with 50% workers in May. We have nearly 1,200 people working now at the north Chennai line and the depot and we are also trying to bring back other workers who left for their native town. We are expecting the extension line to be ready by December,” an official added.
As construction is underway, CMRL floated a tender for design, manufacture, supply and installation of spares and consumables needed for the facilities being built at the depot, including the automatic train wash plant, car body stand, retractable overhead equipment (OHE) and self-propelled battery operated scissor lift.
The depot will serve both the existing 23 km corridor from Washermenpet to Airport and under construction 9km extension line Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar. The 15,500 sqm depot will have a 1,055 sqm auto coach washing plant with three levels for property development.
A small station will be attached to the depot for both depot staff and people using the property and training and rest area for depot staff. Eventually the plan is to build a four-level car park below the elevated depot and a 20-storey building above the depot, which could have office space or an apartment, that can accommodate 4,000 families, with a sea view as the facility is 600m away from the beach.
Wimco Nagar depot will handle only minor repair and daily maintenance work. Major repair and overhaul will be done in our existing depot at koyambedu,” an official said. CMRL now has a total of 52 trains including 10 new train sets procured for the north Chennai line.