In Chennai, the Metro Train service in a 7(point)4 km long underground stretch has been inaugurated this morning jointly by Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Paklaniswamy. The new stretch is the first fully underground passage that has been thrown open for public use from Nehru Park to Tirumangalam in Anna Nagar.
Minister Venkaiah Naidu in his address said, urbanization is witnessing a rapid growth globally, which is irreversible. He observed that 50 percent of the people live in urban areas situated in just 2 percent of the total land mass. Therefore urban mass transport system are essential to meet the increasing transport needs, he said.
Mr Venkaiah Naidu asked the states to work in unison with the Centre to fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of a regenerated India. Under the Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT, he said pedestrian pathways along the urban roads are being planned.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy asked the Centre to accord early approval for the expansion proposal of the Metro Rail Network. He also wanted changes to be made in some features of the MoU signed between the Centre and the State that he said are detrimental to the state’s interests. Minister Venkaiah Naidu promised that the state’s demands will be considered.
AIR correspondent reports that the operationalization of the new stretch covering 7 stations has made travel to Airport from many of Chennai’s posh localities comfortable and hassles-free, saving precious time. In July 2015, the nearly 10-km long Koyambedu to Alandur sector has been thrown open for public use. On 21st September last, two segments from Airport to Little Mount and Alandur to St Thomas Mount were inaugurated.
With today’s inauguration, 28 kilometers of the total of 54 kilometers in the first phase have been made operational. The remaining works are expected to be over by this year end. Detailed Project Report for the expansion of the network covering 107.55 more kilometers with an estimated cost of 85,047 crore rupees has been readied by the public sector RITES Ltd. Once the works are over, the share of public transport would be greatly enhanced in the city, reducing pollution and vehicular density apart from transforming the face of the city.