The Chennai Metro Rail – Its finally coming

chennai metro - still a long wait
Chennai will soon get a real metro, and it hopefully wont go the mrts way

As of this afternoon, its official – Chennai has got approval for its own Metro Railway on the lines of that in New Delhi. Personally, its been a long wait for this news. Chennai was the only city that took so long to finalise its plans for the metro, with Mumbai and Hyderabad in advanced stages of planning, and Bangolore already started with the construction.

The project is estimated to cost around 10,000 crores which is similiar to the cost incurred by Delhi metro for its first phase (65km) , against 45km proposed for Chennai. I suspect that the higher cost is due to the longer underground sections here, as the road widths make it difficult to construct elevated lines on the median like what was done in Delhi.

The DPR prepared by the DMRC proposes two lines:
Line 1: From Fort St George – Central – Chennai Airport via Mount Road
Line 2: From Washermanpet – Anna Nagar – Ashok Nagar – St Thomas Mount via Inner Ring Road

The exact alignments are still unclear, but i have made a map which should be a fairly accurate guess. Check out the chennai metro map.

So both are still primarily north-south lines and should supplement the existing suburban rail and MRTS network. One thing that will be needed in the future is an east west link, maybe a monorail or a light rail from the Marina Beach – Pondy Bazaar – KK Nagar that would connect the metro, mrts and the suburban railway network. I hope the govt plans something along those lines soon.

Of course, one thing that everyone would be dying to know is when you can fancy a ride on such a train. Thats really hard to say and depends on how quickly the TN govt can secure funding for the project. If the proposed SPV is as successful as Delhi’s DMRC, best case scenario would be around 5 years from now. But given the dirty politics in the state, worst case would be a change in govt and allegations of corruption by JJ, that could plunge the whole thing in limbo. But even then, it should’nt take more than 10 years for it to be up and running.

The wait seems long, but it is a step in the right direction. So chennai has one more project in its long list of those under implementation. Lets just cross our fingers and hope that it does not become another MRTS. If things go smooth, the city will be once again be on top, with the best public transport systems in the country.

UPDATE: More details on the Chennai metro alignments, and an estimate on the opening date.

Chennai metro map and route details
Indian Express/ Thanks to Venkatraman

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18 responses to “The Chennai Metro Rail – Its finally coming”

  1. Navaneethan Santhanam says :

    It’s a dream come true, man. For the last 7-8 months SSC has been flooded with ‘DMRC to submit DPR next month,’ and stuff.

    Finally! Let’s hope they do it quickly, too.

  2. Navaneethan Santhanam says :

    I remember that in addition to the 2 lines proposed, there was to be a 3rd one to be started once these two are completed – running from Thiruvanmiyur to Anna Nagar. Being a staunch S/SE Chennaivasi, I hope that one is realised also.

  3. Venkatesh says :

    Nice Article, provides more information than most newspaper articles did. A section that runs from Annanagar to Porur along Poonamalle rd or Arcot Rd could have addressed the needs of North Chennai

  4. planemad says :

    /nav
    what worries me more is the chaos its going to cause when they start work on mount road. yikes. like they say, you gotta bear the rain to see the rainbow.

    /venkatesh
    thanks

  5. Vinodh says :

    Excellent stuff mate, whosoever is updating this, fantastic job. i really couldn’t find a better infrastructure update on Chennai anywhere else. I am happy that Metro is finally kicking off, but as someone pointed out, wish they had Chennai north, till Poonamalle covered there. Probably 3rd or 4th phase may be !! Keep up the excellent work.

  6. planemad says :

    thanks vinodh 🙂

  7. Vinodh says :

    Dude, found this piece today in Hindu, do you have any news on this?

    http://www.hindu.com/2008/01/24/stories/2008012459961000.htm

    i suppose the Ponamalle High Road was getting extended, this is the road where there’s lot of heavy vehicle movement right? And now a express way along the same road. would you be able to get more details on these projects?

  8. planemad says :

    the expressway proposal is about 2 years old and i havent seen much progress about it.
    And i wonder how they plan to have the metro and the expresssway on the same alignment. One solution would be to convert PM High Road itself into an expressway instead of constructing an elevated one. Either way, its going to be a tough project to implement

  9. Venkat says :

    Hi, will it be possible for you to provide contact details of Venkataraman of Indian Express. I would like to know where I can get the exact map of Chennai of Metro.

  10. Vishwanathan Nagarajan says :

    Excellent work man… excellent info on infrastructure… keep it up…

  11. kevin says :

    how to go to valankani, from chennai central is there any local metrols which i can book in advance

  12. planemad says :

    @venkat
    no idea mate, you should probably try the metro office

    @Vishwanathan
    thanks

  13. Rajan says :

    I don’t know why the Tamilnadu Govenment is not considering North chennai for its Metro rail project as there are only eight or nine kilometers left from the planned destination.
    Here in North Chennai there are large number of commuter (Indusrty, IT, Engineering, Labours, school children, college students) suffering an uncomfortable journey due to traffic, crowd, lack of buses and footboard travel.
    For the Govt. it is possible to do since it comes only under the ground a depth of 60 feet.
    If Our Govt can’t support us then which Govt would care for the welfare of the people of the state.
    Already the North Chennai is being dropped from new scemhes. Now the total area looks like a mess. It would be only a dream for the poeple of North chennai when this kind of project comes not now and also in the future

    Rajan

  14. VK says :

    Rajan,
    MK does not have family in North Chennai, so he will not do anything for NC.

    even the perambur bridge which was started in his last tenure is still pending. so was so many other projects in North Chennai.

  15. murali says :

    Too many design flaws even before project gets off the ground

  16. shanmughasundaram RM says :

    It is a long awaited project for Chennai to combat with the ever increasing traffic congestion. If not done as is proposed, Chennai would become a hell for Chennaities. Thank God, never before late, the project has seen the day light at least this year. I wish, it should go on its way successfully.

  17. paddu says :

    IT IS A WELL KNOWN FACT THAT NORTH MADRAS IS ALWAYS CONSIDERED AS AN AREA OUTSIDE TAMILNADU.THEY ARE REMINDED ABOUT THE AREA ONLY DURING THE ELECTION.ONCE UPON A TIME NM IS CONSIDERED AS THE HEART OF THE CITY AS THERE WAS NO WELL DEVELOPED SOUTHERN OUTSKIRT.IN THE METRO RAIL PROJECT IT HAS BEEN AGREED THAT THE CORRIDOR 1 INVOLVING NORTH MADRAS WOULD BE TAKEN UP FIRST.NOW THE WORK IS GOING ON ONLY IN SOUTH CHENNAI.THE PROBLEM IS THAT THERE IS NO STRONG PERSONALITY TO RAISE THE DISMAL CONDITION OF THE PEOPLE LIVING HERE. T,H HIGH ROAD IS SO NARROW AT SOME PLACES WHERE ONE HAS TO STEPOUT AFTER GETTING AN INSURANCE POLICY. IT HAS TO BE WIDENED AT ANY COST BECAUSE IT INVOLVES THE LIVES OF THE COMMUTERS.WHENEVER THIS ISSUE IS TAKEN UP IT HAS BEEN SHELVED DUE TO THE LACK OF POLITAL COURAGE.

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