The underground Metro line from Thirumanagalam to Nehru Park will be open to the public from tomorrow. The line from Thirumangalam to Nehru Park is set to be the first fully underground train service in the city. Clearance for the operations was given recently by the Chief Safety Commissioner after proper examinations. The 7.63 km line will run across Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar Tower, Anna Nagar East, Shenoy Nagar, Pachaiyappa’s College, Kilpauk and Nehru Park.
‘Service will start from tomorrow. All the necessary work is completed. The pending work at Central Station will be completed by the end of this year. Construction on the line is going at a steady pace. Full Metro service will be available from next year.’ said Project Director, CMRL, Rajeev Narayan Dwivedi.
Chennai Metro Rail expects to increase footfall after the new service begins. Currently, Metro gets around 15,000 commuters per day. This will be the third stretch to become operational in the city. The first stretch Alandur and Koyambedu was completed in June 2015. The stretch between Chennai Airport and Little Mount (partially underground) was completed in September 2016. Chennai Central and Alandur stations will act as common points for the Metro tracks.
According to sources, tickets prices are set to be capped at Rs 70. Every underground station is fully air conditioned has elevators and escalator facilities, platform screening doors and detailed route maps to guide passengers to nearby areas. There are four entry and exit points on either side of the stations for easy access to roads. All the stations are located close to bus stops to provide hassle free travel. Passengers who detrain can hire a taxi from the station premises as CMRL will have Uber and Ola stations. Also, bus feeder service is also available. Share autos will be given permission to stop outside stations for travellers.
During emergencies, passengers can be evacuated through a platform built on one side of the tunnel. If passengers cannot reach the station from the tunnel platform, they can use a cross passage built every 250 meters. These passages connect the two tunnels.
Commuters can get to the other tunnel and catch an oncoming train to get to a nearby station. There are giant cum exhaust fans installed on either side of the tunnels to suck out smoke in case of fire accidents. The stations are also flood protected with drainage systems and facilities to harvest rain water. The underground line will be a boon for many people as it effectively decreases travel time. A passenger can travel from Nehru Park to Airport under 40 minutes.