Wait for Metro Rail service to Chennai Central gets longer

Commuters in the city will have to wait longer for services to begin on two key Metro Rail stretches — Nehru Park-Chennai Central and Saidapet-AG-DMS. Work on these two stretches has been delayed and they are likely to be opened only in April and May.

“There have been delays by a few contractors. We are pushing them to finish work as soon as possible.

The Nehru Park-Chennai Central stretch is likely to be commissioned by April, and the Saidapet-DMS one a month later,” a Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) official said.

CMRL sources said that in June this year, Minister for Industries M.C. Sampath after inspecting the stretches said he wanted them opened to the public by the end of the year.

The deadline was pushed to March owing to delays on various fronts.

The track work on the stretches was completed only recently.

Now, work is on to finish electrification, signalling and other telecommunication systems, sources said. “After this work, the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety, whose approval is mandatory before operations begin, will be invited to inspect the stretches and give approval. This might happen in April,” the official added.

The Nehru Park-Chennai Central stretch will be an extension of the line from Thirumangalam, which has been operational for several months now.

The 45-km-long Phase I project should have been completed by December 2015.

Officials now say it will be completed only by the end of next year or even later.

Services are currently being operated on 27 km with three stretches.

In addition to the underground Thirumangalam-Nehru Park stretch, trains connect Koyambedu and Alandur and Little Mount and the Chennai airport.

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