Finally, clearance has been granted for commencing operation of the first Metro Rail service in the city between Koyambedu and Alandur, nearly six years after its launch.
However, the clearance is conditional: from Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar, the trains can operate on two tracks (up and down) but beyond that point, both services will be on a single track up to Alandur. The Union Ministry of Urban Development communicated this to the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) authorities on Tuesday, according to officials.
“We have received the final clearance now to commence operations till Alandur. But before this, the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) will conduct an inspection from Ashok Nagar till Alandur. They are likely to visit by the end of this week or early next week,” an official of the CMRL said.
Due to some technical issues, Metro Rail will operate with a single track from Ashok Nagar till Alandur.
Meanwhile, the trains of Chennai Metro Rail too have received clearance for operations.
Officials said services beyond Ashok Nagar may begin to operate on both tracks only after stations and track are complete till St. Thomas Mount. Such changes will in no way affect the passengers. These are only technical issues which will be sorted out, he added.
CMRS authorities — whose clearance is statutory for commencing operations — came to inspect the facilities of this project twice in April. First, they inspected trains referred to ‘rolling stock’ in engineering parlance and subsequently the stations from Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar.
While the trains were recommended sanction, the officials pointed to some technical glitches after inspecting the stations from Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar.
Also, in November 2014, the trains of Chennai Metro Rail received another mandatory clearance from the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO).