Chennai, Metro Rail News: In a major step to the metro railway network in the Chennai, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Friday sanctioned a Rs 4,760.67 crore (75.519bn JPY) loan to kickstart the 107.55 km Chennai Metro Phase-2. An agreement in this regard was signed between C S Mohapatra, additional secretary, department of economic affairs, The ministry of finance, and Katsuo Matsumoto, chief JICA representative, New Delhi.
“The Chennai Metro Project (2) (I) aims to meet growing traffic demand by building mass rapid transit system to mitigate worsening road traffic/ traffic pollution and eventually lead to balanced regional development and enhancement of environmental condition in Chennai Metropolitan Area,” said a release from the ministry of finance.
Phase-2, initially estimated to cost Rs 85,047 crore, was cut by nearly Rs 11,300 croreafter a revised detailed project report was prepared, officials said, adding that the Centre, which is yet to officially accord sanction, will share a part of the cost.
Since 2008, JICA had funded Rs 11,000 crore in loans for developing around 52.4km of the metro rail network 45km of Phase 1 and a 9km extension. Phase 2 may link 4 corners to coreof city
Phase-2, with 116 stations across corridors, is expected to link all four corners of the city with the core area. The corridors include the stretch from Madhavaram to SIPCOT in Siruseri via Mylapore over 46.1km, from CMBT to Lighthouse over 17.1km and from Madhavaram to Sholinganallur via St Thomas Mount over 45.2km.
A separate detailed project report has been prepared for extending the CMBT-Light House section to Poonamallee.
Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) will first begin construction of the priority corridor a 52.01km stretch from CMBT to Sholinganallur with 57 stations across the Madhavarm-Sholinganallur and Madhavaram-Siruseri sections and has begun conducting soil tests. “We have changed underground stations to elevated wherever possible. We have also trimmed down the size of the stations. This is to cut cost as well as the time of construction. The finer details will be ready only in the detailed design process which is underway,” a CMRL official said. “The priority corridor alone will have 15 to 20 elevated stations. We decided to change based on the availability of land and space.”
Several other measures have also been taken to bring down the cost. It includes acquiring government land wherever possible. So far, CMRL has issued notices to 800 people to the their land to build the priority corridor.
Officials said about around 30,000 square metres of land would be required for Phase 2, one-third the 90,000 square metres acquired for the 45km phase-1. The size of the stations in Phase 2 will be around 150 metres against 220 metres in Phase 1.