Chennai Metro comes calling for Chennaites

Wed, 2015-09-09 14:24 -- SCC India Staff

Chennai Metro Rail

The sixth-largest city of India is now also the sixth Indian city to , and arguably secondary financial hub in the country, after Mumbai, has added another feather in its hat following the successful launch of the new Chennai Metro.

The Chennai Metro comes as a boon to commuters, as it may eventually turn out to be the preferred mode of transport given the well know fact that metro rail systems are superior to other modes of public transport owing to higher carrying capacity, faster, smoother and safer travel, occupation of less space, and their non-polluting nature and energy-efficiency.

Traffic volumes on the roads of the metropolis have been increasing in tandem with its rapid growth. As the population of a city grows, the share of public transport, road or rail-based, should also increase. For a city with a population of 1 million, the share of public transport should be about 40 to 45 per cent.

The specs

A detailed project report (DPR) relating to the Chennai Metro Rail Project was prepared and submitted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC). The DPR envisaged the creation of two initial corridors under the proposed Phase-I of the Chennai Metro Rail Project: A 23.1-km stretch from Washermenpet to the Airport and 22 km from Chennai Central to St Thomas Mount totalling to 45 km, passing 32 stations.

The project is commissioned in different stages. For Stage I, which was recently launched, the coverage is around 10 km on elevated section from Koyambedu to Alandur, forming part of the Green Line (Corridor 2) and covering the following stations: Koyambedu, CMBT, Arumbakkam, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar, Ekkattuthangal and Alandur.


Thiru R Ramanathan, Director-Projects, CMRL The project has made use of tunnel boring machines for underground construction and segmental construction for elevated work. ¨We have also used balanced cantilever technology; this does not require any support while constructing,¨ says Thiru R Ramanathan, Director-Projects, CMRL.

The project has also used steel girders, in place of concrete. The Guindy-Alandur section of the metro crosses the Chennai Suburban Railway tracks by means of a 105 m steel girder rail overbridge. This iron bridge will be connected by steel girders. It is fabricated and then assembled and goes through the girder, equal to the track, without affecting the trains. ¨Conventional materials and big cranes with high capacity have been used,¨ adds Ramanathan.

Key Measures taken

Some of the efforts made to reduce energy consumption are as follows:

  • Regenerative braking system.

  • Installation of platform screen door at underground stations.

  • Green building.

  • Promoting solar power system.


The overall sanctioned project cost is Rs 14,600 crore for the 45 km network. Of the project cost, the Centre and state governments are expected to contribute about 20 per cent each; the balance will be met by a loan granted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Phase-II of the Chennai Metro is estimated at Rs 36,000 crore. Chennai has now joined the elite club of Indian cities with a metro, alongside Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Jaipur. Residents now have to wait, probably till the end of 2017, for the other two lines to begin operation and to make the metro complete.

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Fresh plans proposed for Chennai Metro Rail