CHENNAI: In a move aimed at extending metro rail service, three more corridors have been identified for the second phase even as cost escalation of the project has shot up by more than `5,000 crore, according to director of projects R Ramanathan.
The second phase expansion is for a total stretch of 76 km, comprising the third, fourth and fifth corridors from Koyambedu to Luz, Madhavaram to Velacherry and Madhavaram to Injambakkam (ECR).
“The work on the corridors will start once the state government gives its approval. The consultant is deciding on where all the stations would come,” said Ramanathan. The three corridors would mostly be underground inside city and elevated on the outskirts giving some relief to Chennaites fearing land acquisition by the government. Further, metro rail has identified 10 corridors covering a distance of 300 km.
In his view a city of Chennai’s size by now should have 500km of metro network. “It should be either you walk or travel by metro,” said Ramanathan. The Chennai Metro Rail Project, conceived at a cost of `14,700 crore in 2007, has now gone up to `20,000 crore if land cost was also taken into account. It could be `12,000 to `13,000 crore for the underground stretch and `7,000 crore for the elevated stretch, he explained.
However, it is estimated that cost over-run could run into more than a thousand crore due to delay in the completion of the project.
Metro Rail’s biggest challenge is to complete the work in Chennai Central which has been hit by litigations. It would have four subways below 32 feet to 40 feet, linking Rippon Building, GH and other vital areas. There will also be a three level underground parking facility in Chennai central, he said.
The 500 metre stretch between OTA to Meenambakkam would be an underground stretch which will be more like a box like structure,” Ramanathan said.