CMDA also plans to construct an MTC bus stand on five acres of land to operate link services to CMBT and to other parts of the city.
Chennai: Nudging officials to start work on the long pending Kilambakkam bus terminus, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, who is also the housing minister, conducted an inspection of the site on Thursday evening.
“The new bus stand that would cater to the southbound buses will be coming up on 88.52-acre land. The detailed project report will be completed in two months and construction will be completed in two years,” Panneerselvam told media persons after the inspection.
According to CMDA officials, the bus stand near Vandalur would cost Rs 321 crore and would accommodate 250 buses every day. “Moreover, nearly 300 spare buses could be parked in the bus stand,” one of the officials said.
CMDA also plans to construct an MTC bus stand on five acres of land to operate link services to CMBT and to other parts of the city. The new bus stand would also accommodate 275 cars and 3,582 two-wheelers apart from housing a police station and a water purification centre among other facilities. “The bus stand will also have escalators to help differently-abled and elderly passengers,” the official said.
CMDA is expected to obtain no objection certificate (NOC) from Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to construct the bus stand. “We have applied for the NOC. Since norms allow the construction activity near the particular archaeological site, the NOC will be given, hopefully,” the CMDA official said. An objection from ASI has been one of the roadblocks impeding the Kilambakkam bus stand, apart from anomalies in land acquisition.
Chennai Metro Rail will soon provide a helping hand to those wanting to get to Chennai airport from southern Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu after landing in the metropolitan city by train. The Metro will connect Chennai Egmore and Chennai Central stations to the airport next month.
People from southern Tamil Nadu, who land up in Egmore to go to the airport, could benefit the most as they can walk across to catch the Metro train nearby and head either for the airport or even Chennai Central to catch a train to north, east or western part of the country. Those coming places like Nellore, Vijayawada and Ongole in Andhra Pradesh can take the metro train at Central and proceed to airport. The metro rail connection can also help passengers landing at Chennai Central or Egmore to get quicker to the Koyambedu bus terminus, reported the Times of India.
Once Chennai Metro Rail begins operations from Central and Egmore stations then, then the rail service will be available up to Chennai airport, passing through important landmarks such as Anna Nagar, Koyambedu, Vadapalani and Ashok Nagar pillar. Trial runs of services to Central and Egmore have begun and preparations are on to open the stations. Currently, Chennai Metro Rail operates services between airport and Nehru Park. It also operates between airport and Little Mount (just before Saidapet) besides between Koyambedu and St Thomas Mount.
The Metro services that currently goes to Little Mount from Airport will soon be extended up to Directorate of Medical Services building, just ahead of the Anna Flyover. This is part of the services up to Thiruvotriyur.
CMRL is planning to commence trial run on Anna Salai line this week.
CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government has urged the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) management to expedite its works in the city and complete them at the earliest, and thereby ensure commuting is made easy for the public.
State Industries Minister M. C. Sampath requested CMRL managing director Pankaj Kumar Bansal to complete works from Nehru Park to Central and from Saidapet to AG-DMS soon. The minister, who had recently visited the underground sites of the CMRL and inspected the work, had expressed satisfaction over the progress of the work, and wanted passenger services on the routes to begin soon.
The stations between AG-DMK and Saidapet are getting finishing touches particularly at the entry or exit point, official said.
CMRL is planning to commence trial run on Anna Salai line this week, said sources.
The commissioner of Metro Rail Safety is likely to be invited for inspection in March.
At present, CMRL is operating services in two routes in the city - Nehru Park to Airport and Little Mount to Airport. The first trial run between Nehru Park and Chennai Central covering a distance of 2.7 km was conducted on Jan.26. The first train was flagged off in 2015 by the then Chief Minister J. Jayalaltihaa.
According to sources, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited is likely sign a loan agreement with JICA, for the phase II project and the sum is likely to be higher than the funding for the first project.
JICA had funded phase I project for about Rs 14,600 crore. The CMRL is likely to sign an agreement with JICA once the Centre gives the nod.
Consultant submits draft on MRTS-Metro merger
In future, Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) trains could transform into the sleek, sophisticated Metro trains with upgraded stations.
On Friday, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the consultant, submitted the final draft report and suggested a host of recommendations on various issues, including models for diversification and transfer of assets of MRTS, sources said.
“The stations will undergo a major overhaul and the trains of MRTS will be replaced by new trains from Chennai Metro Rail. Since the trains will change, the signalling system will undergo improvements. But we can continue to run broad gauge as we don’t see a necessity to change that. In Delhi, for instance, there is a line that runs on broad gauge” an official said.
The priority will be to bring about this merger without causing any disruption, officials said. “The schedule will remain the same for MRTS and whatever their existing works are, we will take over that as well. This will mean quite a heavy capital investment,” a CMRL official said.
Though no deadline has been fixed for the merger, officials said it will take a few years.
“At first, the State government and Indian Railways will have to agree to this merger officially. After that, the Railway board has to approve it. Then, the detailed project report will be prepared by Chennai Metro Rail, funds have to be sought and, then the merger can happen,” an official said.
“If this happens, it will benefit commuters as phase II of Chennai Metro Rail intersects MRTS in some stations and it will be a seamless integration,” he points out.
“Also, a common ticketing system will be introduced and commuters can use smart cards in both systems,” he adds.
But employees in MRTS will go back to Railways and to operate the system, Chennai Metro Rail will redeploy its own staff after training, officials said.
Trade unions resolve to rally support for transport corporation employees by staging protest demonstrations in all districts on January 8
While the Transport Minister warned the striking employees of the State transport corporations of stern action if they failed to return to work immediately, trade unions resolved to rally support to the strike by staging protest demonstrations in all districts on January 8.
As both the government and the unions are unwilling to budge from their stand, the transport strike is expected to continue on Sunday as well.
Speaking to reporters at Karur, Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabhaskar claimed that more than 80% of the government buses were operated in the State on Saturday. A press release said that, on an average, 66% of the fleet of various operations was operated across the State.
The Minister alleged that a few workers belonging to unions affiliated to Opposition parties were creating trouble and threatening the crew members operating buses. “It was totally uncalled for and departmental action would be taken against them,” he warned.
Mr. Vijayabhaskar said a new wage agreement for transport employees had been reached after 23 rounds of talks. He himself had presided over 13 rounds of talks with the representatives of various unions. However, the CITU and DMK-affiliated unions, who refused to accept the new wage agreement, were spearheading the strike.
The workers had been given a wage hike that no other government had given. Moreover, the State government had allotted ₹1500 crore to settle the dues for retired transport workers, he said.
After a meeting on Saturday evening, the trade unions on strike announced that they would hold protest demonstrations in all the districts. The union leaders charged that while they were negotiating for a 2.57% increase, the government discreetly tried to reach an agreement with unions supporting the ruling party.
The issues had already been taken to the court and the government has not granted the sum even after contempt of court proceedings were initiated, leaders of the striking unions said in a joint statement.
The courts already gave delayed verdicts and the administration failed to honour the verdict, they said, and added that the court order staying the strike had shocked the workers. They sought the personal intervention of the Chief Minister.
Traffic along Anna Salai was affected nearly six years ago when the construction began.
Even after the final metro tunnel breakthrough between Saidapet and DMS this week, Chennaiites have to bear the brunt of traffic snarls on arterial Anna Salai, coming year too.
Metro rail officials are now working on subways to connect stations and this would mean motorists heading towards Nandanam through Anna Salai would continue to take a roundabout on the one-way for at least four months more.
“The station construction would be completed within three months and till then, there would be no change in traffic diversions. Vehicles going from Binny Road to Sathyam Theatre will continue to go through Pattulos Road and Whites Road,” said an official from Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).
Traffic along Anna Salai was affected nearly six years ago when the construction began. Ambulance drivers say they are the most affected due to the diversions that take at least 20 minutes longer to reach the destination in peak hours.
“Around five hospitals are located in the area and it also connects three major government hospitals. Like others, ours is not a profession where risk can be avoided by starting a bit earlier. Negligence and delay by CMRL might come down heavily on people's lives,” said K. Murali, an ambulance driver.
On the other hand, metro rail workers finished work on all the underground tunnels and the officials say the stretches from Nehru Park to Chennai Central and St. Thomas Mount to AG-DMS would begin operations in March 2018 and the whole line from DMS-Washermenpet would be operational by December 2018.
“All worksites in Anna Salai will be cleared in three months and the roads would be back to normal in four months. The other areas that were made one way for construction will be made two-way by November, next year,” an official said.
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