Probably the first time that anyone in Chennai would have been excited about travelling on a train would have been the days when the ‘flying train’ service was introduced. It felt like one was being lifted into the sky and shown a bird’s eye view of the city. The Chennai Metro Rail was the next level of this excitement. How excited were you when you boarded your first journey on the Chennai Metro Rail?
The Chennai Metro was something many Chennaiites were looking forward to experience, before its primary first phase launch. The first stretch of the Phase I was launched in 2015. The passenger services on the elevated section from Koyambedu to Alandur, for a stretch of 10.15 kilometres, of the Chennai Metro Rail Project, were inaugurated on June 29, 2015. The phase I of the project covers 45 km of the city that extends from Washermanpet to Chennai airport (23 km) and Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount (22 km). In this, only the Alandur to Koyambedu stretch has been launched.
With the metro rail service gaining good patronage among people living in and around the stretch of Alandur to Koyambedu, few other parts of the city are waiting to enjoy the convenience that the facility will offer. The Chennai Metro Rail Project’s phase-2 covers approximately 88 kms, along three corridors. The three corridors include Madhavaram to Siruseri (41km), Nerkundram to Light House (14km) and Madhavaram to Perumbakkam (33km). Of the 88 km plus stretch under the second phase, 54 km would be underground while the rest would be elevated. The total cost has been estimated at Rs 44,000 crore.
Here is a graphic that shows the proposed map of different areas that will be covered by the phase-2 service of The Chennai Metro Rail.
Initially, the corridor three was planned to be laid from Madhavaram and proceed via Perambur, Ayanavaram, Purasaiwalkam, Nungambakkam High road, Gemini, Radhakrishnan Salai and Luz to end at Lighthouse.
Chennai Metro Rail is considering extending it so that the corridor from Madhavaram that currently ends at the Lighthouse could be extended up to Siruseri. This is to cater to the substantial number of IT employees who live in apartment complexes along the route. If this is approved and finalised, it would be the longest corridor of Chennai Metro.
The project will cover most parts of the city and also a section of the Old Mahabalipuram Road.
If you look at the corridor 3 alignment, the route crosses over Adyar River and creek. This arrangement will require clearance for Coastal Regulation Zone. Another cause for concern is the large heritage structures on Santhome High Road, due to which the officials will have to consider other alignments to the route.
The entire phase-2 metro rail project is proposed to be completed in ten years. It has been decided that the project will have elevated as well as underground passages for the train.
The Chennai Metro Rail project probably took a lot of lessons from the Delhi and Bangalore Metro projects in terms of route-planning, availability of facilities within the station premises. In January 2016, it was also announced that the work on the phase-2 of the Metro Rail service was being fast-tracked so that assistance could be received from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The Chennai Metro has been planned to integrate with other forms of public transport – buses, suburban trains and a mass rapid transport system. With connectivity improving to the suburbs, property buyers are considering settling down away from the city centre.
The Metro Rail’s phase-2 in Chennai will be a great boon to those living in the suburbs of especially Northern Chennai because of the connectivity and convenience that it will provide. Moreover, this has encouraged more property developers to come up with launches in these areas. A surge has also been observed in the number of property buyers in these areas, owing to rapid improvisation of public transport.