CHENNAI: Even as Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is preparing to start commercial operations on the 10-km stretch from Alandur to Koyambedu after by-elections to R K Nagar constituency are over, plans are afoot to have an additional depot in Wimco Nagar, Tiruvottriyur.
A CMRL official told Express that Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa would flag off the commercial run from Alandur to Koyambedu after the polls when the restrictions imposed under the model code of conduct would be lifted. This comes after the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety gave the final approval.
“The dates would be finalised only after the elections are over,” the official said.
Meanwhile, CMRL is planning to have a depot at Wimco Nagar, subject to the Centre’s approval, in order to extend phase I of the project from Washermenpet. Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu has given his stamp of approval for extending the stretch to a further 9 km. The additional depot is being planned at a time when talks are on to have a second depot near the airport. “The land belongs to the defence ministry, with whom we are holding talks,” an official said. He added that land was available at Wimco Nagar for the depot. The plan to have additional depots was drawn as Metro Rail had two corridors and an additional depot would be needed for train maintenance work.
Meanwhile, the elevated stretch of Chennai Metro Rail is likely to be completed by the end of the financial year.
The plan is also to have the underground stretch between Koyambedu and Egmore completed by that time. Tunnelling between Koyambedu and Chennai Egmore is over and tracks are being laid now.
Further, negotiations are on with Afcons Infrastructure to take up the work left by the Russian firm Mosmetrostroy, one of the key contractors of Chennai Metro Rail who walked out of the project.
“We want them to complete the two packages between Saidapet to DMS and May Day Park to DMS,” a source said.