CHENNAI: Nineteen metres below Chennai Egmore Railway Station, another mode of transport is getting ready for launch by month-end.The Egmore station, from where long distance and suburban trains are operated, will soon be linked with Chennai Metro providing much-needed respite to passengers who have to haggle with auto and taxi drivers to reach their destinations across the city.The 2.5-km stretch from Nehru Park to Chennai Central was to open in mid-April, but it got delayed as the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety was busy with other assignments.
Once the stretch opens, the entire green line covering 22 km can be used by commuters. Similarly, Chennai Metro Rail will also throwopen the four-km blue line stretch from AG-DMS to Little Mount by the end of this month. This would mean that the blue line (corridor-1) will have a nearly 13-km stretch under operation by next month. On the whole, the city will have a 35-km stretch of Chennai Metro functioning by the end of this month.
The Egmore Metro Station has four exits and efforts are made to link the foot overbridge of railway station with Metro station. The railways is undertaking work on one of the the foot overbridges, while Chennai Metro is working on the other foot overbridge by building a structure with elevator and escalator.The station, which has a built up area of 8,000 sq m, is different from other underground stations as it has a huge common corridor to accommodate passengers during the rush hour.
“Since it takes care of trains of destinations other than Chennai, we have made ample space so that the station does not get crowded,” said a Chennai Metro Rail official.Interestingly, it has not been an easy task for Chennai Metro to drill beneath from Nehru Park Metro Station. “It has been a struggle lasting six years. The reason for delay is Chennai’s underground geology. The entire stretch is a mixture of soil and rock. Tunnel boring machines were overhauled and repaired several times. The other issue was the presence of water table after a few feet of digging,” said a Metro Rail official. “We have built one metre thick concrete wall so that water does not seep inside the station premises,” said the official.