CHENNAI: Chennai’s wait for its date with Metro Rail will finally come to an end on Monday with Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa opening the 10-km elevated stretch between Koyambedu and Alandur by video conferencing.
Conceived about a decade ago, work on the `14,000 crore urban transport network took its time, missing deadlines several times, before it was finally ready for launch.
Highly placed sources told Express that the rail network would charge a minimum of `10 and maximum of `25 in the stretch that is being opened on Monday, though there is no official word yet. The fare is much cheaper than that charged by air-conditioned buses operated by the MTC. Sources said the details about fares will be clear on Monday, adding that the rail management may offer free rides for a few days until all facilities were up and running.
According to officials, nine trains will be used for initial operations between Koyambedu and Alandur, which will have seven stations including the origin and the destination. To be operated between 5-6 am and 11 pm, the trains would run approximately every 10 minutes.
The 10-km stretch between Koyambedu and Alandur would be covered in just 18 minutes — a distance that now takes over an hour during peak hours by road.
The trains would stop at each station for 20 seconds, while commuters will get an additional 10 seconds to get in or out during peak hours.
The genesis of the project dates back to 2005 when the then Jayalalithaa government considered the proposal.
Phase I has two corridors — Washermanpet to Airport (23.1 km) and Chennai Central to St Thomas Mount (22 km). The stretch between Koyambedu and Alandur falls in the second corridor.