CHENNAI: Having seen the failure of the MRTS to capitalise on the vast space lying unused in its stations, the Chennai Metro Rail is planning to make its stations lively and bustling with activity.
In the first phase, CMRL is planning to develop Koyambedu, Vadapalani and Ashok Nagar stations on the elevated stretch by leasing out space either for shops or office spaces. Sources said that a total area of 3,095 square metres at locations in street, concourse and link bridge of the three stations will be leased out.
The built-up area, to be handed over to licencees on an ‘as is where is’ basis, will be an ideal space for retail stores and offices, according to the company.
However, considering the safety issues involved in operating a high-people movement facility, the CMRL has put forth certain conditions for the commercial units vying to occupy the space in the stations. There is a strict ban on cooking using LPG cylinders. Only electrical cooking or heating are permitted, with prior written permission, CMRL sources said.
In other fire safety measures, underground water tanks of 50,000 to 1 lakh litre capacity will be set up at Koyambedu, Vadapalani and Ashok Nagar elevated stations. It has also mandated shop owners to ensure that fire alarm systems with internal fire safety arrangements like sprinklers, smoke detectors are put in place within the space they occupy, CMRL sources said.
Licensing rights of space, officials said, shall be for a period of 15 years, wherein the licencee can exit from the licence agreement after six months with prior notice to CMRL.
It is planned that all new metro stations would have commercial establishments, food courts, stalls and ATMs, CMRL sources said. This, industry experts said, could bring in substantial income for the company once the transport network is fully functional.
The company is waiting to finalise the architects for designing the commercial space along the Koyambedu Metro station. Besides preparing a design and plan for commercial development, the architect should conduct a survey that includes necessary data related to the existing public utility services, lines of streets and pavements, buildings lines, adjoining properties, rights of lights, restrictions, easements, party walls and boundaries. These efforts come in the wake of the CMRL planning to have its first commercial run from Koyambedu to Alandur next year.