70 Railway Stations in Chennai to get better Ambience

Non-motorised transport infrastructure such as bicycle tracks to be developed in 5-km radius

Over 70 railway stations in the city will soon be provided with infrastructure that will encourage commuters to shun motorised transport. It will also aid in better connectivity.

A survey of four corridors — Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS), suburban lines from Chennai Beach to Tambaram, Chennai Central to Gummidipoondi and Chennai Central to Tiruvallur — will begin next month.

Non-motorised transport infrastructure at stations will include bicycle tracks and partial pedestrianisation and this is likely to enhance the ambience around the stations, providing last-mile connectivity.

According to officials in the Chennai unified metropolitan transport authority (Cumta), a five-km radius around each station will be studied over an 11-month period.

An inventory of all roads and existing civic infrastructure in the neighbourhoods will be made, covering aspects such as deficiencies in parking facilities. Civic development work will be taken up in the five-km radius based on the plan for each neighbourhood.

“Suburban stations in Pazhavanthangal and St. Thomas Mount require better infrastructure for non-motorised connectivity. These areas also suffer from poor bus connectivity. This bothers commuters,” said A. Raghavan, a resident of Nanganallur.

The proposed civic improvement near these stations will also facilitate bus connectivity and new parking lots.

“Simple alterations in areas near Park station or Chintadripet MRTS will increase the number of users at these stations. We are trying our best. But proper planning is required. A number of residents in slums near the stations are likely to be evicted shortly. The authorities should make optimum use of the land to create infrastructure,” said M. Pandian, councillor of ward 62 under which Park station and Chintadripet MRTS fall.

Bus stops near the stations will also have information kiosks to help commuters get information on distances and bus timing. “After implementation of the project, ridership will improve,” said an official.

Roads forming a loop around the proposed super-specialty hospital in Omandurar Government Estate are on the list for civic infrastructure for non-motorised transport.