Senior CMRL (Chennai metro rail limited) officials who confirmed that the stretch has been approved for commercial run told DTNext that the commissioner has advised them to ensure the operationality of certain features before the launch of commercial service.
Claiming that the team of safety commissioners number four including Manoharan was also satisfied with the safety mechanism put in place in the seven station and the route, particularly the emergency evacuation plans required to handle eventualities arising out of manmade or natural reasons like the torrential storm of December 1, 2015, which had triggered CMRL to take extra precaution while marking the high flood levels in the underground stretch.
Fire drill and accessibility during disasters was another salient feature of the inspection, CMRL sources said, adding that now it is up to the Central and State governments to finalise a date for launching the commercial run on the stretch.
Notably, train frequency on the underground stretch would be less than the elevated corridor owing to the absence of crossover facility beyond Shenoy Nagar station towards Nehru Park.
A train for every 15 minutes
Sources revealed that the train frequency would be 15 minutes on the underground stretch, against the 10 minutes on elevated corridor, as it would take 15-17 minutes at Shenoy Nagar for the previous train to return from Nehru Park station, which does not have cross over facility.
While the down line (Koyambedu to Nehru Park) would be fully operable (7.63km), only 4.54km of the up line would be open for traffic. However, an Airport bound traveller boarding at Kilpauk would have to transit only at Alandur.