Chennai Metro plans 'Metrolite' to run on Tambaram-Velachery corridor

Anushka Khare Posted on: 2019-09-28 08:31:13 Viewer: 599 Comments: 0 Country: India City: Chennai

Chennai Metro plans 'Metrolite' to run on Tambaram-Velachery corridor

New Delhi (Urban Transport News): The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) recently conducted a feasibility study and made a presentation on the Urban light rail system 'Metrolite' in a meeting called by Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs in New Delhi on Thursday. In a few years, the proposed Tambaram-Velachery metro corridor of Chennai Metro may have a 'Metrolite'.

Chennai Metro has proposed 'Metrolite' on the new proposed metro corridor connecting Tambaram and Velachery to easing mobility for commuters along the route. The Tamil Nadu government will soon conduct a feasibility study on the new route that will recommend possible alignments to connect the two areas, the estimated cost of the project and other details. A senior officials from CMRL said,

After that, a detailed project report will be readied to go ahead with the project. The light rail system will either be elevated or be constructed at-grade (though not on the road itself, but similar to a railway line). There is a possibility that the stretch may be linked to the Velachery MRTS as well. It is still in a very nascent stage and we will finalise the routes and other finer details only after the feasibility study is complete.

Presently, light rail transit services, operated in many cities including Singapore, Sydney, Ottawa and San Francisco, will have a lower passenger capacity as compared to the Metro. One of the reasons for considering 'Metrolite' - a light rail transit service, is that it is not as cost-intensive as the Metro. The Metrolite system needs less land to build and it can cover areas that may not be possible to link by the Metro rail. Explaining the need for 'Metrolite' system, another official said,

For instance, while it will take ₹200-250 crore and ₹400-500 crore to build one kilometre of an elevated and underground stretch of the Metro, it will cost only around ₹80-100 crore for light rail. It will also not need the same right of way that the Metro does, and hence, it can be taken into narrower lanes and denser roads.

Another important reason for considering 'Metrolite' for Tambaram-Velachery stretch is that, unlike Metro, it can take sharper curves.  "While a Metro cannot take very sharp turns, the light rail can. The radius of curvature for a Metro may be about 100 m, but for light rail, it may be about 25-30 m", he added.

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