The metro connectivity in Chennai is all set to expand as Phase-II work begins in the capital city of Tamil Nadu. On February 10, 2019, the last stretch (10 km) from AG-DMS to Washermanpet metro station of Chennai Metro's Phase-I project (45.1 km) was thrown open to the public, making Chennai the third largest Metro network in India after Delhi and Hyderabad.
As per reports, plans for the Phase-II project of Chennai Metro are being finalised and work is underway on the 118.9-km network (128 stations). The project will cost around Rs 69,180 crore and is expected to be completed by the year 2026. Furthermore, the efforts of the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) to enhance last-mile connectivity on the two operational corridors have produced successful results as increasing number of commuters use the shared auto and taxi services that have been launched at select metro stations so far.
The three corridors comprising the Phase-II project are Madhavaram to Sipcot (45.8 km with 26.72 km underground), Lighthouse to Poonamallee (26.1 km with 10.07 km underground) and Madhavaram to Sholinganallur (47 km with 5.83 km underground). These corridors will link the remote suburban areas to the core localities of the capital, for instance, the Madhavaram-Sholinganallur corridor is expected to drastically reduce the travel time between the two areas.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has agreed to provide a loan assistance of Rs 20,196 crore for the Madhavaram to Sholinganallur corridor (35.67 km) and the Madhavaram to CMBT stretch (16.34 km) under the Phase-II project. As per reports, construction work for over a length of 52.01 km will begin before the end of this year. The 52.01 km corridor will have a total of 55 stations- both elevated and underground, which will provide connectivity in the eastern parts of the city including the IT hub at OMR.
(Edited by: Nehal Solanki)