The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has agreed to fund nearly Rs 201.96 billion to expand Chennai Metro Rail Project.
JICA has approved to fund the stretches between Madhavaram to Sholinganallur (35.67 Km) and from Madhavaram to CMBT (16.34 Km) under Phase-II of Chennai Metro Rail Project for a total length of 52.01 km.
The loan agreement for providing the first tranche under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of 75,519 million Japanese Yen (around Rs 47.70 billion) was signed today.
It is expected to further enhance the Metro Rail connectivity to various parts of Chennai.
The remaining 9-km stretch in the last stretch of the first phase between Washermenpet and Wimco Nagar, on which work started in June 2016, will be operational by June 2020.
When the first 10-km metro service started, the ridership was 8,000 a day; up to 20 km it was 12,000; up to 28 km it was 18,000 and at 35 km it was 55,000. The addition of another 10 km from AG-DMS to Washermenpet will multiply the ridership.
As the metro keeps expanding, the ridership too will increase as was seen with Bengaluru metro, which saw a ridership of just 36,000 for a network of 36 km. However, when it was extended to 43 km, the ridership increased to nearly 3.5 lakh, he said.
On second phase of the 119-km Chennai Metro, officials said that soil testing is going on at various places and in a year, ground level work will begin. By 2024, the 119-km network will be operational.
The second phase will have three stretches: Madhavaram to Siruseri; Light House to Meenakshi College; and Madhavaram to Shollinganallur, stretching from the IT corridor in the south of Chennai to the milk production centre in the northwest.