Public hearing on Metro extension mooted

Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has asked the state government to ‘consider’ the public demand to extend the Metro rail to Tambaram, from Chennai Airport.
Public hearing on Metro extension mooted
Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL)

Chennai

Lohrii Kapani, under-secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has sent a note to the principal secretary of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives department of the state government in this regard on January 17, 2018. 
The note has asked the state government to take “appropriate action” on the representations made by one Dayanand Krishnan of Chitlapakkam on January 4 and 11, 2018, asking the Centre to fulfill the public demand to extend Metro connectivity from Chennai Airport to Tambaram. A senior Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) source with knowledge of the union government note told DT Next, “The union ministry has sent the note to the state government. It is a policy decision the government (state) must take. CMRL is only the implementing agency. We already have suburban train connectivity to Tambaram. However, if the state announces, we would take action.”
CMRL holding talks with JICA for Phase-II 
Pertinently, CMRL has been engaging a Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) team here since January 17, in connection with the Phase-II of Metro Rail project, which would provide an additional 108km metro coverage to the city. This round of negotiation would end on Thursday, January 25, for the Rs 44,000 crore project, which would stretch from Madhavaram to Siruseri, CMBT to Light House and Madhavram to Sholinganallur. CMRL had held similar negotiations with a JICA delegation in November last year. CMRL has planned to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Japanese funding agency for Phase-II of the Metro project before April 2018. 
Negotiations with JICA for the second phase of the project, which would cut through the heart of the city and hence run mostly underground, have been dragging for a long time, after the agency expressed willingness to fund only 50 per cent of the project. Officials from the state government and CMRL have been persuading JICA since October last year to relax the conditions and offer more funds for the project, which would take not less than eight years for completion.

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