Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa inaugurated a section of Chennai’s metro, an 8.6 km stretch connecting the airport to Little Mount station, on Wednesday.
“Like the residents of the city, I look forward to the commencement of operations on the underground section of the Metro Rail which I am confident will be before the end of 2016,” she said as she opened Rail Corridor 1.
Once clearances come from the commissioner of Metro Rail Safety for Alandur-St Thomas Mount, the link will eliminate the need for changing trains to reach the airport.
“With that the entire 20 km elevated section of the Chennai Metro Rail Project, would become operational,” the chief minister said and thanked the Japanese government for its support.
Union minister for urban development, M Venkaiah Naidu was present at the station to flag off a train after Jayalalithaa waved the green flag from the Secretariat.
Naidu called on the Chennai Metro Rail Limited to expedite the remaining work of phase-I.
The newly commissioned stretch covers six important stations that cross the airport, Meenambakkam, Nanganallur Road, Alandur, Guindy and Little Mount. Over 260 trains will run in each direction and transport an estimated 60 lakh people daily once the project is completed.
The state government is also planning to expand the Chennai Metro Rail project along three corridors and add an orbital corridor at an estimated cost of Rs 44,000 crore.
With Chennai’s metro line, about 324 kilometres of metro rail is operational across the country including Delhi-NCR, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Jaipur and Mumbai.