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Chennai Metro flagged off by Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa


Chennai: The much-awaited Chennai Metro train service was flagged off on Monday by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa.

Jayalalithaa used video conference to launch the service on an overhead stretch between Koyambedu and Alandur, covering 10.15 km, which the train would cover in 19 minutes with six stations.

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Picture credits:

By road it would take at least 45 minutes to cover the stretch if the traffic is smooth — and a couple of hours if there is congestion.

According to the Tamil Nadu government, the metro project is estimated to cost around Rs.14,600 crore.

According to officials, initially nine trains will run on the route. Each train will be able to carry 1,276 passengers. The minimum and maximum fares are Rs.10 and Rs.40.

The track will be extended from Alandur to Chennai Airport. The extension will constitute phase I of the 45 km project passing 32 stations.

Phase I consists of two corridors — Washermenpet to Airport (23.1 km) and Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount (22 km).

The first train was steered by A. Preeti, a young woman holding an engineering diploma.

The Tamil Nadu and the central governments would contribute 15 percent of the project cost as their equity.

The central government would provide debt funding of five percent and the state government would contribute 5.78 percent as its share of debt fund.

The balance 59.22 percent of the project cost would be obtained from the Japan International Cooperation Agency as loan. (IANS)

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3,000 Bengalureans form 4-km-long Human Chain to protest against Steel Flyover to International Airport at Devanahalli

Hundreds of youth, including boys and girls also ran a marathon on the thoroughfare where the flyover has been planned without consulting citizens and urban experts

Bengaluru. Source: wikimedia

October 16, 2016: About 3,000 Bengalureans on Sunday formed a 4-km-long human chain to protest against the proposed 6.7-km steel flyover for a signal-free ride to the international airport at Devanahalli on the city’s northern outskirts.

Holding placards, banners and billboards against the flyover, members of residential welfare associations, social activists and NGO representatives stood along the footpath from Chalukya hotel in the city centre to Mekhri circle in the north side and urged the Karnataka government to scrap the Rs 1,750-crore project.

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“We are all for better connectivity to the airport but not at the cost of about 800 trees as hundreds of trees have already been lost for various infrastructure projects, including the metro rail service and other roads,” said urban conservationist Vijay Nishanth on the occasion.

Unfazed by the protests and ignoring urban experts, the state government has recently awarded the project to L&T Ltd to build the steel flyover from Chalukya circle to Hebbal circle, which connects the airport road and the busy National Highway number 7 towards Hyderabad.

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Though the country’s third busiest airport is located about 40 km from the city, the stretch of the main road where the flyover has been planned is bedevilled with heavy vehicular traffic as it connects the city’s south, east and west suburbs.

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“The government should explore alternate routes to divert and regulate the traffic to the airport and the highway than allowing a monstrous steel structure that will not only rob the greenery, but also does not ease the gridlock, which will only shift to both sides of the flyover, as vehicles pile up in the absence of service roads,” noted urban expert and architect N. Narasimhan.

The denizens of this 10-million tech hub are so agitated over the steel project that a ‘Citizens Against Steel Flyover’ campaign has been launched to prevent the state-run Bangalore Development Authority from constructing the steely structure.

“The failure of the authorities in ensuring basic infrastructure in line with the city’s explosive growth due to influx of people from across the state and country have turned the garden city into an urban chaos, with half the green cover vanishing, lake beds encroached and air quality spoilt,” lamented Sujathia Kulkarni, a homemaker.

A British national (T. Allen) who works with an NGO in the city, said the government should learn from London where vehicular traffic movement does not rely on only flyovers and one-ways and no-ways as in Bengaluru.

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“The government has to decongest the city, build alternative roads, encourage public transport and provide a metro rail link to the airport than build a steel flyover,” reiterated Siddharth Nayak, a bank manager.

Social media has been abuzz against the project through hashtag #steelfyoverbeda.

Wearing T-shirts and donning caps with “beda” (no in Kannada) hundreds of youth, including boys and girls also ran a marathon on the thoroughfare where the flyover has been planned without consulting citizens and urban experts. (IANS)