On Tuesday (27 June), T Arjunan, the Project Director of Chennai Metro Rail, announced that the metro rail project in Madurai city in Tamil Nadu would initially be implemented between Thirumangalam and Othakadai.
Madurai is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a history that dates back over 2,500 years. It is the state's second-largest city in terms of area and third-largest in terms of population.
The Phase-I metro project is planned for a distance of 31 km (from Thirumangalam to Othakadai) with 18 stations, 14 will be elevated and four will be underground.
The metro will have 26 km on an elevated stretch, while the remaining five km will pass through areas near temples on an underground stretch.
The metro's construction will begin in 2024 and will likely be finished by the end of 2027, according to MA Siddique, the Managing Director of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).
During the inspection of various locations in the district, Arjunan's team revealed that the construction of the 31-km stretch between Thirumangalam and Othakadai would cost Rs 8,500 crore.
The inspection covered Thirumangalam, Uchapatti satellite city, Madurai railway junction, and the Meenakshi Amman temple areas. Prior to this, soil tests had been conducted near the Thirumangalam bus stand.
Arjunan stated that an underground track would be laid near the Vaigai River, and the team would exercise extreme caution during its construction, according to The New Indian Express report.
He assured that the metro project would not have any adverse impact on the traditional monuments in the area, and mentioned that a survey for land acquisition requirements was currently underway.
Arjunan also mentioned that the possibility of constructing a metro station near the upcoming AIIMS hospital was being considered.
However, he acknowledged that the construction near Madura College, Meenakshi Amman temple, and the Vaigai River could pose significant challenges.
The state government had floated a tender costing Rs 3 crore for preparing the Detailed Project Report for the Madurai metro in February 2023.
The second phase of the Madurai metro rail project will include the construction of a metro station at Madurai International Airport that will connect the city.
At present, Chennai is the only city in Tamil Nadu that has a metro. Madurai and Coimbatore are the two other cities in which metro services are being planned.
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