Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I extension and laid the foundation stone for several others in different sectors, including railways, in Tamil Nadu. At a grand event at the Nehru Indoor Stadium here, he flagged off the 9.01 km service from Washermanpet to Wimco Nagar in North Chennai, completed at a cost of Rs 3,770 crore.
Modi dedicated to the nation the Chennai Beach-Attipattu fourth line and the Railway electrification of Villupuram Cuddalore-Mayiladuturai Thanjavur-Mayiladuturai-Tiruvarur Single Line Sections. He also laid the foundation stone for the Discovery Campus of IIT Madras, which will be built at nearby Thaiyur at an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore in the first phase over an area of 2 lakh sqm and the extension, renovation and modernisation of the Grand Anicut Canal System.
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam and other cabinet members, senior leaders of ruling AIADMK M Thambidurai, K P Munusamy and leaders from alliance parties participated in the event. The venue, the sprawling Nehru Stadium premises, and the entire Periamet neighbourhood in the heart of the city came under a three-layered security blanket.
Traffic diversions and heavy deployment of police personnel were made as part of security measures for the Prime Minister's brief visit. Several youngsters at the venue sported T-shirts hailing the chief minister and many from the audience raised slogans praising Modi and Palaniswami.
Earlier, the Prime Minister arrived at the airport here, and then flew in a chopper to INS Adyar from where he drove to the function venue. All along the way, a good number of supporters and the public turned up to greet the Prime Minister as artistes played traditional musical instruments to welcome him.
Modi waved at the people who waited on the kerb to have a glimpse of the leader. At the event, Modi, Palaniswami and Panneerselvam paid floral tributes to the portraits of late chief ministers M G Ramachandran (AIADMK founder) and J Jayalalithaa.