Perungudi-Cuddalore link may shift to Chengalpet, post Metro-MRTS merger

CHENNAI: The Southern Railway’s proposed Chennai-Cuddalore rail link from Perungudi may be shifted to Chengalpet, once Chennai Metro Rail and Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) get merged, according to official sources.

Sources said that the Southern Railway had a proposal for the Chennai-Cuddalore rail link from Perungudi along the East Coast which will pass through Mahabalipuram and Puducherry a decade ago. However, the Rs 1,200-crore project for the 179-km rail line, which is currently gaining prominence, is likely to be hit and may shift from Perungudi to Chengalpet, sources added. “If the MRTS operation is handed over to the CMRL, then the starting point may shift to Chengalpet instead of Perungudi,” sources added.

Meanwhile, consultants have been asked to study the value of land and assets and nomination of share between Metro Rail and Railways and between the state government and Union government prior to merger.

The consultants will also study whether the Union Ministry of Urban Development will be acquiring the Railways’ stake in MRTS or it will be the Tamil Nadu government. Metro Rail sources indicated that there was a suggestion to have the Union Ministry of Urban Development as one of the stake holders as it could result in communication between the two Union government departments over acquiring the stake in the Ministry of Railways.

Currently, the state government wants stakeholder inclusiveness and as such it has sought to appoint nodal officers from four line departments including the Southern Railway and Chennai Metro Rail. “This will help in completing the study on time as it will provide support to the study team,” sources added.

It is also learnt that the consultants Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Barsyl have been asked to make projections on the revenue after takeover based on previous data. They will also be looking into the operational issues such as merger, transfer, takeover while keeping in view the seamless transfer for commuters, especially at interchange points.

Beach, one of the oldest stations in the suburban rail network, will be bifurcated after the merger, for which assets of the Southern Railway and MRTS are being identified to be handed over, Railway sources said.

Sources said consultants had been instructed to review pros and cons of inter-operability and operational issues between MRTS and suburban network post-merger, especially between Beach and Port stations based on traffic potential.

Factfile
Chennai Metro-MRTS merger will hit the Southern Railway’s plan for Perungudi-Cuddalore Link
The project will start from Chengalpet after the merger
Valuation of under-construction Velachery-St Thomas Mount section may be completed and handed over to CMRL

Fort or Beach?
Sources told Express that the initial plan was to develop the Fort suburban station as the terminus for MRTS services. However, Fort did not have adequate land. Furthermore, the Beach station has the land required for developing it as the commercial terminus for MRTS


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