TN Govt. to take up next phase of Chennai Metro (West)

Chennai (MAS):  The state government is planning to conduct a feasibility study to expand metro rail lines to connect developing neighbourhoods on the west of Koyambedu and Poonamallee which are not connected by the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS).

The expansion is under phase II of the metro rail project and the idea is to build small stretches and connect them to other modes of transport including monorail. If approved, officials will study feasibility to have metro rail on two routes – one originating from Chennai Central towards neighbourhoods of Poonamallee High Road, and a second corridor from Koyambedu towards the western parts. Sources said the routes and stations of the phase II corridors will be announced soon.

Once the neighbourhoods that require metro rail connections are identified, the state government will commission a feasibility study, cost and a detailed project report.

“The government would be looking to fill in gaps in the network of the existing metro rail and mono rail lines that has been sanctioned for construction. In the last few years, several neighbourhoods have grown and there is a demand for hassle-free and fast public transport connectivity to different hubs,” said a metro rail official.

Officials want to solve the problem of limited connectivity options, through phase II of the metro rail project, by integrating different modes of public transport, said a senior government official, two more corridors are now being considered, “We are primarily looking at areas not covered by phase I corridor on Poonamallee High Road and the northern areas. This corridor may begin from Chennai Central,” he added. The official added that the second corridor is to be extended from Koyambedu towards the western and the north western parts of the city.

Official said that the government would plan the routes after considering demands from people who live in developing areas such as Mogappair, Padi, Ambattur and Kolathur and after studying several factors including the emerging industrial trend and real estate development and an enormous level migration.

While addressing the state assembly three weeks ago, Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah said the government will ensure faster clearance of the Washermenpet to Thiruvottriyur corridor, besides taking up the detailed project report (DPR) for phase II of the project in the newly-identified corridors.

Besides metro rail, an extended MTRS that connects Velachery to St Thomas Mount, development of outer ring roads, and an elevated freight corridor are some of the projects envisaged to reduce the congestion on city roads.