Private Firm To Oversee Operations of Chennai Metro's Phase II Network

V Bhagya Subhashini

Jun 24, 2024, 03:58 PM | Updated 03:58 PM IST

The Chennai Metro. (CMRL)
The Chennai Metro. (CMRL)

Chennai Metro Rail’s Phase II network will see a private firm managing both trains and stations, a departure from the Phase I project where only part of the management was outsourced.

This decision was recently finalised by a high-level committee, according to Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) officials, who plan to issue a tender soon.

The 116-kilometre-Phase II comprises three corridors: Madhavaram to SIPCOT (corridor-3), Light House to Poonamallee (corridor-4), and Madhavaram to Sholinganallur (corridor-5). The project is expected to cost approximately Rs 61,843 crore.

CMRL officials stated that the decision was made considering the numerous upcoming projects, including metro rails in Tier II cities, the Mass Rapid Transit System takeover, and the modernisation of Chennai’s bus termini.

“We have successfully managed thus far. We think now is an ideal time to hand over the management of the Phase II project to a private firm. We think there will be better management, and this is the way forward as well,” an official said. CMRL will monitor the firm’s efficiency in managing the entire operations and maintenance.

The Chennai Metro Rail project was approved by the union government in 2009, with the first train starting operation between Koyambedu and Alandur six years later.

Over time, CMRL began outsourcing staff for train operations, and now, nearly 50 per cent of Phase I operations and maintenance are outsourced, resulting in savings of approximately Rs 100 crore, according to The Hindu report.

Phase I of the Chennai Metro Rail project consists of two corridors, i.e., Corridor-I from Washermenpet to the airport, and Corridor-2 from Chennai Central to St Thomas Mount.

The current phase I and phase I extension projects, cover a distance of 54 kilometres in the city.

As CMRL aims to launch the first stretch of the Phase II network from Poonamallee to Porur Junction by the end of next year, driverless trains are expected to arrive and undergo various testing processes soon.

V Bhagya Subhashini is a staff writer at Swarajya. She tracks infrastructure developments.

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