Metro realignment in Madhavaram stuns residents

Speaking to DT Next, residents urged Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) to reinstate the old Metro line as per the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and also to reinstate Thapalpetti Metro station in the original route, where the passenger footfall is likely to be higher.
Metro realignment in Madhavaram stuns residents

CHENNAI: Following the abrupt and unannounced realignment of the Metro line in Madhavaram under phase II construction, several residents in the area are in deep distress. With the new realignment set to pass underneath the residential colonies, denizens claim issues like groundwater supply cut off and houses becoming vulnerable to cracks.

Speaking to DT Next, residents urged Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) to reinstate the old Metro line as per the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and also to reinstate Thapalpetti Metro station in the original route, where the passenger footfall is likely to be higher.

CMRL has been actively constructing the phase II Metro in three corridors across the city, as part of which, Madhavaram under corridor 3 is also witnessing several changes.

Earlier, as per the DPR, CMRL acquired vacant lands away from residential areas in Madhavaram to construct the line. But, despite acquiring the land and paying compensation to shop owners and other stakeholders, CMRL is currently altering the plan, allegedly to reduce a few metres in the project.

As the realignment is planned from Madhavaram Milk Colony, residential areas like KKR Gardens, Palaniappa Nagar and Kannappa Nagar are currently facing a threat.

“Over a week ago, a few CMRL officials visited our houses and asked to survey bore wells and take pictures inside our houses. When enquired, they confirmed that the underground tunnel connecting Murari Hospital Metro rail station and Madhavaram Milk Colony Metro station is realigned to pass underneath our houses,” said Suresh Kumar, a resident of Thapalpetti for the past 45 years.

Suresh further added, “Without any prior public notice or discussion, CMRL has shocked us with the information that two tunnels connecting the said stations are rerouted to pass underneath our houses. Though we tried speaking to MLA and officials, no one budged to our request.”

As most of these residents have purchased and constructed the houses by procuring bank loans, they dread any damage to the houses due to the Metro works. Also, they point out the necessity to approach CMRL for availing Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) even for minor changes in their residence.

Incidentally, another resident of Palaniappa Nagar, who did not wish to be named, pointed out the shelving of Thapalpetti Metro station, which was earlier proposed in DPR.

“The footfall at Thapalpetti Metro station is likely to be higher than Milk Colony Metro Station, as Thapalpetti is a vital junction in the area. Also, people from interior Madhavaram, Kodungaiyur and nearby areas can use the station if Thapalpetti is operated,” he said.

Another resident of KKR Gardens and member of the Resident Welfare Association questioned the need for realignment when the vacant lands have already been acquired. “We agree government policies are adopted for the overall good. But, when the vacant lands have been already dealt with, what is the reason for realignment affecting so many lives and the hard work of years?” he questioned. Residents also threatened to stage a protest if officials did not pay heed to the request.

Original route not feasible, says CMRL

Commenting on multiple allegations, a top CMRL official said, “Allowing the original route and Thapalpetti station was not feasible as per the DPR. Also, our survey found the distance between the stations less and the footfall at Thapalpetti to be fewer. Hence we had to reroute the Metro line. Also, this is not the first case. We have realigned Metro lines in Purasaiwakkam and Kodambakkam too as per feasibility.”

The official further added, “Madhavaram residents do not have to fear water supply cuts, weakening of houses and availing NOC. We will ensure the water supply is given throughout the day and if cracks are developed, they will be rectified. In the case of NOC, it will be promptly approved as we are currently issuing hundreds of NOCs from phase I projects.”

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