CHENNAI: The sprawling MRTS stations would be bustling with activity had Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority implemented its blueprint prepared to develop commercial space over the stations.
Nearly 12 years ago, the blueprint was prepared to develop commercial space over nine MRTS stations. But, it had remained only on paper, as per documents available with Express.
It is learnt that the idea was to develop 190,000 square metres of commercial space in those stations but the plan was never implemented and the stations remained hollow blocks frequented by anti-social elements.
Sources reveal that the stations planned to be developed were Mandaveli, Greenways Road, Kotturpuram, Kasthurba Nagar, Indira Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Taramani-I, Taramani-II and Velachery.
The TN government in 2001-2006 had permitted CMDA to plan for commercially exploiting the air space over all the stations along MRTS Phase II. Even a report by L&T Ramboll in 2003 suggested commercialisation of space in these stations.
A couple of years ago, there was a plan to build additional two floors at Velachery MRTS station, which could be used as office space, but that too is yet to be implemented.
The failure to commercially exploit the space over MRTS has sparked criticism following which the state government planned to integrate MRTS with Chennai Metro. It is learnt that the TN Government has proposed to the Railway Ministry to allow the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) to take over the operations of the MRTS train service. According to sources the Railway authorities are examining it.