Two important metro rail lines and 4 stations will be inaugurated in Chennai on Friday. The lines will connect Central Chennai to Shenoy Nagar and AG-DMS to Little Mount in the heart of the city through Saidapet station.
The new lines will ensure increased connectivity in the Central Chennai area. The lines are set to be reopened after a delay of 2 years. The stations between the two lines - Central Metro, Egmore metro, Shenoy Nagar Metro, and four others will be opened on Friday, State industries Minister C Sampath told TOI.
The 5.62 km stretch between Shenoy Nagar and Central Metro will see trains arriving every 5 minutes. Commuters can travel to CMBT, Annanagar, Shenoy Nagar and St Thomas Mount with this line. At central only the elevated metro stretches are to be opened as the lower track linking Anna Salai is not completed yet.
The 4.5 km stretch between AG-DMS and Little Mount will take commuters to Saidapet and DMS and from surrounding localities up to the airport. Passengers can switch to the Alandur line to go to CMBT or Central Metro.
Both the stretches were to be opened back in 2015, but were delayed by 2 years. Work in the Anna Salai line was stalled after the Russian contractor who worked on the project abandoned it citing financial crisis. This forced the Tamil Nadu government to open bids and give contracts in packages to firms to finish off the pending work.
Earlier this week, Commissiner of Metro rail safety KA Manoharan inspected the stations and lines. He said that authorisation would be granted on the condition of completing all passenger amenities required at the stations.
The commissioner also stated the Central Metro, which currently only has one entrance, should have one more point of entry to evacuate passengers in case of an emergency
TN Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami will reportedly be present during the inauguration ceremony on Friday. Several other top ministers will also be present.