CHENNAI: How can I reach the Metro station?” asks a woman in her mid-40s as she gets down from the bus opposite Alandur Metro station. As there is heavy traffic on the busy GST stretch, she has to negotiate a busy divider near the Kathipara flyover to reach the subway and then the Alandur Metro station. “Crossing the divider is risky during the peak hours. And it takes nearly 15 to 20 minutes to reach the station by walking through the Kathipara subway,” says Raj Cherubal of Chennai City Connect. This may have upset the plans of many who would prefer to take the Metro to Koyambedu.
Two years ago, the announcement for a subway was made. However, this was later converted to a foot-over-bridge (FoB) proposal. It was learnt that immediately after the announcement in the Assembly Infra Support Engineering Consultants prepared a detailed project report for the construction of two pedestrian subways at Alandur and Arumbakkam.
The consultant also submitted the report for the FoB at Alandur. “The dilemma of whether it’s a subway or a FoB could be causing the delay,” says Cherubal, who backs the construction of a FoB. “When people get-off the metro, they have to walk down two floors to reach the subway, where they have to go down one more floor to reach the other side. If it’s a FoB, they simply have to get down from the train and take the FoB to reach his destination.”
But Cherubal insists that escalator is a must-have. “The Metro Rail should not think of having an escalator just inside the station; they should also provide one outside,” he adds.
The consultant has estimated the cost of a FoB at `7 crore. The CMDA has approved the proposal of entrusting the construction to Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) through the infrastructure and amenities fund. When City Express contacted sources in CMRL, they said they were yet to get the proposal, and that it has been sent to the housing department for administrative sanction. “This is likely to come only after the Assembly elections,” said a source. This would mean that till then, there is no end to the misery of metro rail commuters.