Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) officials confirmed that preparation of detailed project report on the city metro rail project has got under way. “We recently selected a firm to do the job and it started the work a few days ago. The firm is expected to take a year to complete the feasibility study and submit the detailed project report,” said a senior official, who didn’t want to be named. “The study is being funded by the German funding agency KfW, which will also fund the project when it comes through.” The officials, however, didn’t throw any light on the routes being studied for the project.
Many industrialists and the public were let down when the state government failed to make any budget allocation for the project. “The metro rail is a long felt need for the district and we were hoping that it would see the light of the day in the forthcoming financial year,” said V Lakshminarayanasamy, president, city chapter of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Consumer activist K Kathirmathiyon, meanwhile, said the detailed project report should give a clear indication of how the project was going to be executed. “If the study has started, the government should make it time bound and give us a clear timeline of when the actual work on the project would start. Otherwise, it would look like a namesake announcement.” Pointing out that the Kochi and Coimbatore metros were announced together, he said the former was already running. “If the government had acted fast, at least the detailed project report would have been prepared by now.”
In 2013, when ‘metro man’ E Sreedharan visited the city, he had suggested a “light metro” that would serve the city’s growing population for the next 100 years. The routes that were discussed then include – Kaniyur-Ukkadam bus stand, covering a distance of 26km; Pilichi-Ukkadam bus stand via Mettupalayam covering a distance of 24km; Karanampettai-Thaneerpandhal via Trichy Road and Thadagam Road, covering a distance of 42km; and Ganeshapuram-Karunya Nagar via Perur, covering a distance of 44km.