The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Chennai Metro stretch- the 9-km line from Washermanpet to Wimco Nagar yesterday (Sunday, 14th February 2021).
Speaking about the nine kilometre stretch of the Chennai Metro Rail Phase One, The Prime Minister informed that the project has been completed on schedule despite the pandemic. The project is in line with the boost to Aatmnirbhar Bharat as the rolling stock has been procured locally and civil construction activities were done by Indian Contractors. Shri Modi mentioned that in this year’s budget, over Rupees Sixty Three thousand crore have been set aside for a hundred and nineteen kilometres of Phase two of the project. This is one of the largest projects sanctioned for any city in one-go. The focus on urban transport will boost ‘Ease of Living’ for citizens here, Shri Modi pointed out.
On February 10, 2019, Modi had inaugurated the final 10-km stretch between AG-DMS and Washermanpet under Phase I. This time he will be inaugurating the Phase I extension after Union Home Minister Amit Shah laid the foundation for second phase last year.
Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa inaugurated the 10-km stretch from Koyambedu to Alandur in 2015 and the next stretch from Little Mount to airport in September 2016. The first underground Metro corridor connecting Koyambedu to Nehru Park was jointly inaugurated by Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and then Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
When foundation for phase II was laid, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had urged the Union government to reconsider the shareholding under second phase of Chennai Metro Rail project- with a sharing pattern of 50:50 as in phase I. However, official sources said that the Centre is yet to take any decision after a letter from the Chief Minister was submitted to Shah.
The Government of India has suggested to provide only 10 per cent cost as grant instead of providing 15 per cent as share capital. I f the Centre’s shareholding is increased it will boost the project, said official sources.
The phase two project is being split into three corridors at an estimated cost of Rs 61,843 crore. It is funded by the State, Centre and various foreign banks- Japan International Cooperation Agency, Asian Development Band, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and New Development Bank.