Twenty-two metro stations will get 41 new escalators giving commuters easy and quick access to the stations and seamless switch between corridors.
CMRL has identified 22 metro stations, includwing 14 stations on corridor-1 from Tondiarpet to Meenambakkam and eight stations on corridor-2 from Egmore to St Thomas Mount, to install the new escalators in addition to the existing ones.
The footfalls in these stations have increased over the past few months, and there have been complaints from commuters to install more escalators. Recently, CMRL floated a tender to install these escalators before March 2024. At present, metro rail links a 54km stretch under phase-1 and phase-1 extension with a total of 41 metro stations.
“A total of 41 additional escalators will be installed at select metro stations and preparatory work is in progress to facilitate smooth movement of passengers,” said Rajesh Chaturvedi, director of systems and operations, CMRL.
Officials said one escalator each will be added in stations such as Teynampet, Thousand Lights, High Court, Tondiarpet, Anna Nagar East, and St Thomas Mount. Two new escalators will be installed in stations such as Guindy, Nandanam and Egmore, and three escalators will be installed in Anna Nagar tower station, four escalators in Vadapalani and Meenambakkam, and five escalators in Thirumangalam.
However, CMRL spokesperson L Girirajan did not respond to queries and details on where these escalators will be installed.
The escalators are being added at a time when footfalls are increasing in the stations with an average of 2.5 lakh people travelling in metro trains daily.
“We have been receiving several complaints from commuters that there are only escalators for going up and not for going down when they want to enter or leave the stations. They cannot wait for elevators if there is a crowd. So, we decided to install new escalators,” the official said.
All the stations are designed for two escalators in an upward and downward direction to link the concourse and street levels. But they were not installed during the construction of phase-1 to save project cost, the officials added.
In a release, CMRL said each metro station in phase 1 now has an average of five escalators, and with the addition of 41 escalators, the average number of escalators would go up to six.