Two key metro rail lines, 4 stations to open on May 25 2018
Two key metro rail lines — from Central to Shenoy Nagar and AG-DMS to Little Mount via Saidapet (beneath Anna Salai) and four stations will be launched on May 25, providing much-needed connectivity to Chennai Central— the city’s largest transit hub. The lines are ready to be opened after a delay of more than two years,
State Industries Minister M C Sampath told TOI that Central Metro, Egmore Metro, Shenoy Nagar and four other stations between AG-DMS and Little Mount on Anna Salai will be inaugurated on May 25. “The chief minister will be present. We have also invited the ministers of state,” said Sampath.
On May 22, Sampath inspected the arrangements made in the stations including Egmore Metro, where the inaugural function will be held. Top Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) officials were present during the inspection.
When the 5.62-km line between Shenoy Nagar and Central Metro opens, commuters can board a train every five minutes to Shenoy Nagar, Anna Nagar, CMBT and St Thomas Mount. They will also be able to board a direct service to airport or reach Anna Salai by shifting corridors at Alandur metro. At Central, only the upper track level connecting stations on Poonamallee High Road will be opened. The lower track linking Anna Salai is not yet ready.
The 4.5-km stretch between Little Mount and AG-DMS can take commuters arriving at the busy bus stops in DMS and Saidapet and from surrounding localities up to the airport. Passengers can shift corridors in Alandur station and proceed to CMBT or to Central Metro.
Both the stretches were delayed by nearly two years, as their earlier deadline was December 2015. Work in the Anna Salai line was stalled for a year after a Russian contractor, who was building tunnels and stations between May Day Park and Saidapet, abandoned work citing financial crisis. This forced the government to open bids again and award contracts in small packages to firms to finish the pending work.
Commissioner of metro rail safety KA Manoharan and his team last week conducted inspections of the stations and tunnels. He said authorisation would be given this week subject to certain conditions like completion of passenger amenities in the stations.
“At Central Metro, they have only one entry point ready. They should have one more entrance ready for evacuation of passengers during emergency,” he said after the inspection.
Source: U Tejonmayam, The Times of India, Chennai