Government inaugurates Chennai Metro Rail Project (Phase I) underground section
The Chennai Metro Rail Project (Phase I) underground section from Thirumangalam to Nehru Park has been inaugurated, thus heralding a new era of sustainable transport in Chennai. The flag off ceremony was attended by many dignitaries such as Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development.
The newly constructed underground stretch covers a distance of 7.4 kms between Thirumangalam and Nehru Park comprising of five important stations; 1) Anna Nagar Tower, 2) Anna Nagar East, 3) Shenoy Nagar, 4) Pachayappa’s College and 5) Kilpauk Medical College.
The newly inaugurated underground segment is 7.4 km long will mitigate the difficulties caused by mounting traffic in Chennai such as increased traffic congestion, air pollution, road accidents and journey time.
Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. organized the inaugural opening ceremony which was attended by Kenko SONE, Minister(Economic & Development), Embassy of Japan, Seiji BABA, Consulate-General, Consulate-General of Japan and Sho Naya, Representative, JICA India office.
Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office said, “The newly inaugurated underground section showcases the achievement of JICA towards better life and social innovation of the citizens of Chennai and the Government of Tamil Nadu. Chennai metro will promotes smoother travel and boosts prosperity in Chennai and will be one of the shining examples of mutual cooperation between two nations.”
Once completed the Chennai metro project phase1 is expected to have over 800 trains running in either direction each day, transporting an estimated 7 lakh people each day by the year 2021. The Chennai Metro is integrated with other forms of public and private transport including buses and sub-urban trains to facilitate seamless travel by commuters.
JICA has extended 150,274 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 9,000 crores) in concessional ODA loans over 4 tranches since 2008 for the development of around 45 km metro rail system in Chennai. By adding JICA’s loan for Phase V, the cumulative loan amount for Chennai Metro Project amounts to 183,595 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 11,000 crores).