Chennai Metro Rail completed all formalities to open First Line. CMRS(Commissioner of Metro Rail Saftey) inspected the line between Ashok Nagar and Alandur on Monday and Tuesday and will give clearance for operation of 10km Koyambedu – Alandur line in few days.The government will be able to commission the line after the clearance comes. Sources say that the by-election in R K Nagar constituency may not be a stumbling block for the project to be opened by the state government as the election commission has notified exemptions to the ban on declaring new projects.
Chennai Metro
Metro rail officials do not expect any objection from the safety commissioner, and considers the visit as more or less a formality as the Ministry of Urban Development amended rules to allow Single – Line Operation on the stretch in spite of a technical handicap caused by incomplete work. The commissioner did not inspect the line from Ashok Nagar to Alandur when he arrived a few weeks ago to inspect trains and stations because a crossover line near Alandur metro station that allows trains to change track and return along the parallel track was not ready. “This is a necessity as per railway rules because trains are not allowed to run on single track back and forth. Now, the rule has been amended allowing such mode of operation to prevent the metro rail project from getting delayed,” said an official.
Services may get truncated because a train that reaches will have to use the same line to return to Ashok Nagar. This will affect frequency as trains cannot be run on Ashok Nagar – Alandur line till a train returns from Alandur.Sources said the technical glitch happened because the construction contract for the elevated line got delayed though work was awarded five years ago. “This forced metro rail to drop St Thomas Mount (from the first operable stretch) and start pushing for opening of the line from Koyambedu to Alandur. But the line was not designed to allow trains to turnaround at Alandur,” said an official. Such ad hoc decision caused confusion, and the ministry amended the rules to prevent further delay. Metro rail officials started sending documents to the commissioner of metro rail safety in January. Truck loads of paper containing drawings, designs and other details were sent to Bengaluru.