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MRTS services to Velachery to begin in January

Special Correspondent

Tirumayilai-Velachery stretch to be completed by December



ON COURSE: Work on the MRTS between Tirumayilai and Velachery in progress. — Photo: Shaju John

CHENNAI: The second phase of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) between Tirumayilai and Velachery will be completed by December this year and train services to Velachery from Beach will begin in January.

It will be a "Pongal gift" to the people of Chennai, Union Minister of State for Railways R. Velu said.

While the work had been completed from Tirumayilai to Perungudi, the stretch between Perungudi and Velachery was delayed due to the soil condition. The earth on the stretch was loose and efforts to strengthen it had failed. The railway administration had decided to go in for an elevated structure for this 1.4 km stretch, involving an additional expenditure of Rs. 27 crore.

The Minister, who inspected the work on Monday along with railway officials, expressed the hope that the entire work would be completed by November and the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) would inspect the newly laid track in December. After his clearance, passenger services would be introduced to Velachery from Beach.

Chief Administrative Officer (Construction) C.K. Narasimhan, who accompanied the Minister, said of 559 pillars, work on 335 was over and the rest of the pillars would be completed soon. After that line- laying would be taken up.

At present MRTS services are operated only up to Tiruvanmiyur on a single line from Tirumayilai in the absence of turn back facility at Tiruvanmiyur station. Once the project is completed then train services will be operated on both the lines.

Regarding extension of MRTS from Velachery to St. Thomas Mount, the Minister said the Railway Ministry had cleared the extension and the work would be taken up soon. It would also be on an elevated structure. While funds would not be a constraint for executing the project, the major problem would be acquisition of land as a number of buildings had come up near St. Thomas Mount station, which would also be on an elevated structure.

Mr. Velu also said that the second entrance for Egmore station, on the Poonamallee High Road side, would be opened next month.

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