If things go as planned, residents of Washermanpet - a locality in North Chennai, could soon reach the airport in 45 minutes, thanks to Chennai Metro Rail. The last stretch of Phase 1 of Chennai Metro is slated to be inspected on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and thrown open to the public by the end of January.
According to news reports, the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) KA Manoharan will inspect the stretch between Washermanpet and AG-DMS, a stretch with Mannadi, High Court, Chennai Central, Government Estate, LIC and Thousand Lights stations in between, during the three days. The inspection will include the metro rail lines, the stations, the tunnel, passenger information system, public addressing systems, communication and telecom lines in the stations and station control rooms.
The date of inauguration, however, is not fixed since the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is yet to hear back on the invitation sent to the Ministry of Urban Development.
The Phase 1 of Chennai Metro extending for 45 km was planned to connect Washermanpet and Koyambedu CMBT to Airport. As of now, the stretches from AG-DMS to airport, Chennai Central to St Thomas Mount and Koyambedu to airport are operational.
The to-be-opened stretch from Washermanpet to AG-DMS will cover 10 km with eight stations on the way. The stretch will also be operational underground with the depth of the line touching 28 metres, reports stated. This stretch is considered crucial as it would connect a portion of north Chennai to south Chennai.
Meanwhile, CMRL is ready to set the ball rolling for its Phase 2 which will connect Madhavaram in north Chennai to Sholinganallur in south Chennai. This phase is expected to stretch across 108 km and will have 116 stations at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore. The first portion of this phase will span 50 km and will connect Madhavaram to Koyambedu CMBT and Madhavaram to Sholinganallur.