The 5 km-underground stretch will be a part of Metro Rail’s phase II project
Before COVID-19, many residents of the city from areas like Kolathur, Retteri and Villivakkam had to travel all the way to Thirumangalam and take the Metro if they wanted to reach their workplace or other transport hubs, including the airport. All this could change as these areas will get stations of their own in the phase II project.
Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) has floated tenders for the construction of underground stations and tunnels from Kolathur to Nathamuni, a stretch covering a distance of nearly 5 km.
This will pass through stations like Kolathur Junction, Srinivasa Nagar, Villivakkam, Villivakkam Bus Terminus and Nathamuni. This is the only underground stretch in corridor 5 of the phase II project from Madhavaram to Shollinganallur. The remaining portions will be elevated.
This will be particularly helpful for residents of Villivakkam as one of the stations will be linked to the bus terminus, facilitating multi-modal integration and allowing commuters to easily switch from one mode to the other. But it is not clear why two stations have been planned at Villivakkam.
The stretch will also pass underneath the Villivakkam railway track, with distance between the tunnel and the ground level maintained at 15.5 m.
According to CMRL officials, the Kolathur-Nathamuni stretch is part of the 52 km priority corridor to be built from Madhavaram to CMBT and Madhavaram to Shollinganallur.
It will take nearly four years to complete, and the construction will be challenging because many localities are congested and dense. They must ensure that the residents are not inconvenienced during the work.
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