Chennai Metro estimates 32 lakh riders by 2045
The Tamil Nadu government may be awaiting nod from the Centre for phase 2of Chennai metro rail (CMRL) project but the authorities have worked out how many commuters may use the three-corridors. CMRL has projected that in 25 years, the massive 107.55km phase-2 is expected to cater to more than 32.7 lakh commuters daily.
The second phase of the project will connect northern suburbs of the city with the IT hub along Old Mahabalipuram Road and Porur via major locations like Mylapore, Adyar, Virugambakkam and Koyambedu. The lines will have 116 stations and is estimated to cost Rs 85,047 crore. Nearly 80 new trains are expected to run on this stretch.
To arrive at the expected ridership by 2045, CMRL has estimated that around 23,600 commuters will have to board trains running in one direction in an hour in corridor 3 between Madhavaram and Siruseri SIPCOT. In corridor four between CMBT to Light House, a maximum 17,000 commuters will have to travel per hour, and more than 27,500 passengers will have to take a ride in corridor five between Madhavaram to Sholinganallur. Corridor four is likely to be extended up to Poonamallee to connect more areas.
While CMRL is expecting to achieve these numbers more than two decades later when the entire phase-2 will be operational, they are estimating that more 15,000 commuters will be boarding trains in a single direction in an hour in corridor 3 by 2024. Metro Rail MD Pankaj Kumar Bansal had said earlier that corridor 3 which would be built first is expected to be completed in six years, once the construction begins.
However, in the 45km phase-1, CMRL is yet to achieve its estimated ridership, though half of it is operational. They now have an average of 30,000 passengers daily, which is less than 10% of their projections. Recently, the Centre which was processing the detailed project report for phase-2 raised questions on the poor patronage.
In its letter, the ministry of housing and urban Affairs said, “The projected ridership for 45km line was 7.76 lakh, but the actual ridership is just 30,000. It should have been close to 4.5 lakh” per day. CMRL blames the lack of patronage to the delay in the opening of major stretches in Central and Anna Salai.
When it comes to phase-2, experts believe that CMRL may be able to achieve their projections, as it will provide better connectivity across the city once both the phases are completely operational. “If you link both phase 1 and 2, commuters will get a network that will link many important areas. So, naturally people will begin using metro services,” said professor R Sivanandan, transportation engineering division, IIT Madras. “The footfall will further go up if there is first mile and last mile connectivity. Metro rail together with the MTC can act as a good transportation system.”
Source: U Tejonmayam, The Times of India, Chennai