Since Chief Minister MK Stalin had approval the proposal to modernise MRTS railway stations during the first authority meeting of Chennai Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (CUMTA), the latter has sought funds from the World Bank to implement the project.
A meeting was conducted on Tuesday in which officials from Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and participated along with the World Bank representatives.
It may be noted that the funding agency has approved to fund around Rs 50,000 crore to Chennai under Chennai City Partnership Programme to improve transportation and other aspects.
According to an official in the meeting, a proposal was submitted before the World Bank. “We’ve proposed to improve the MRTS stations in line with Metro stations. Under the project, MRTS stations will have commercial space, better amenities for passengers and others. The World Bank is yet to approve the proposal,” the official said.
It may be noted that the CMDA and Southern Railway are contemplating to hand over the stations to the former while the latter will continue to run the trains. Moreover, CUMTA, the coordinating agency, has a proposal to hand over the operation of MRTS trains to Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).
MRTS covers 19 km with 18 stations between Beach and Velachery. Work for linking Velachery with St Thomas Mount station is currently underway.
The CMDA had proposed a similar plan in 2007 immediately after the construction of MRTS stations to create commercial establishments under air space exploitation projects at 9 stations from Mandaveli to Velachery. However, the proposal did not see the light.
On the other hand, Corporation officials and Chennai Smart City Limited (CSCL) proposed to improve the road conditions along the MRTS stations to make them hassle-free for commuters.
“Most roads around the MRTS stations are in poor condition. For instance, roads around Perungudi MRTS stations are poorly lit. Under the project, better lighting will be provided. The project will be carried out as part of MRTS modernisation,” a GCC official said.
The civic body has already identified the stretches that need to be improved and overall length would be about 30 km.
Meanwhile, MTC has proposed to operate additional buses connecting to the MRTS stations, as some of them have poor bus connectivity.
The World Bank has approved to fund around Rs 50,000 cr to Chennai under Chennai City Partnership Programme to improve transportation and other aspects