Infrastructure projects in Chennai picking up.

A couple of major infrastructure projects that should help make Chennai a much more livable city are seeing some progress. First, the Outer Ring Road project’s land acquisition is nearing completion according to an article in The Hindu. The Outer Ring Road will be a 62 KM arc around the city from the Old Mahabalipuram Road to the NH 45 at Vandalur, then on to the Tiruvallur High Road, then curving towards the coast to NH 4 at Nazarethpet then on to the Tiruvottiyur Ponneri Panjetty Road near the coast in North Chennai. While the land acquisition for the first phase of 29.5 KM between the NH 45 and Tiruvallur High Road is complete, the second phase is set to be complete by this year end. The project is part of the city development plan submitted to the Centre for approval under the Jawaharlal National Urban renewal Scheme, and will be supervised by the CMDA and give out on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. The Outer Ring Road, projected to cost Rs 850 crores, will be a six lane highway which will ease traffic and help disperse the urban growth of the city outwards. The Road will also have a 22 metre wide corridor for public transport which will include both road and rail mass transit systems. This should make an enormous difference to the city’s growth and traffic planning.

The second major project that is seeing some progress is the Chennai Metro Rail project whose report will be submitted to the CMDA by the Delhi Metro rail Corporation by this month end. Two rail corridors are proposed, one along Poonamallee High Road, and the other along Anna Salai to the airport. The partly elevated and partly underground rail system is estimated to cost Rs 7, 129 crores, and is scheduled to be started by January 2008 and completed in six years. When completed, this project too will make an enormous difference to the density and state of the traffic on the roads by offering a far more convenient and safe mode of transport for citizens. If the success of the Delhi Metro project is anything to go by, and if you see how well mass transit works in all the major cities of the world, the Chennai Metro should transform the transport landscape of the city, and contribute to improving the quality of life of Chennai’s citizens. Lets just hope that the execution of the projects do not follow the fate of the IT Corridor. Professional project execution skills is something that the government sorely lacks, along with the will to stay within deadlines that have been committed.

The projects should be handed over to competent infrastructure experts who should then be held accountable for their execution within timelines, with the state government doing its best to ensure that it meets all its sign posts in terms of clearances etc. For these two projects truly have the potential to transform Chennai for the better.

12 Comments so far

  1. Govar (unregistered) on August 25th, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

    It’s funny how these guys seem to be very prompt in releasing news items well in advance, and the all the timeliness stops right there. Between the announcement, we get old by a couple of decades, the land prices around the 10 Km area shoots up 10 times and the middlemen sell property claiming the area is JUST 4 Kms from Tambaram.

    May be these guys should just shut the trap and come up with the announcements once they are about 50% complete? Until then, I’d much rather love to see the OMR to actually become an OMR and not a Tidel Park Road.

  2. Sankar (unregistered) on August 25th, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

    I agree. It is better if they complete the job and then make the announcement. Everyone knows that the six year time frame for the metro is just a imaginary number. But the time the project kicks off (if at all), it will be a few years let alone the completion of the project.
    Maybe they can target 2020/2025 for completing the project (again, if at all they start it)

  3. Bhadri (unregistered) on August 26th, 2007 @ 3:03 am

    Definitely such projects will ensure that the residents of Chennai have a much liveable place. The recent spurt in growth has severly crippled the infrastructure and many charming areas in Chennai have given its way to rapid commericialization. Planned development is definitely the need of the hour now.

  4. Navaneethan Santhanam (unregistered) on August 26th, 2007 @ 4:32 am

    I hope it isn’t all talk and there’s some action. 6 years seems optimistic to the point of foolishness to me. However, fingers crossed, praying for the best.

    A question to anyone that reads this – I saw a aerial picture of Foreshore Estate and it looks a bit like the part of Dubai on which some of the supertalls are coming up (minus the supertalls, of course). I think it was in the Hindu (
    Does anyone else see this? Or is it just my over active imagination?

  5. David (unregistered) on August 26th, 2007 @ 2:24 pm

    Yes Navneeth, I saw it. You are referring to the aerial view of foreshore estate that appeared in The Hindu yesterday.

  6. sadak (unregistered) on August 26th, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

    have u seen the pictures of the proposed new chennai international airport…? checkout this website:

  7. Anonymous Coward (unregistered) on August 26th, 2007 @ 10:40 pm

    The MRTS Phase II to Velachery was supposed to be completed by 2002, Sigh . It’s already going to be 2008.

    What will happen to Mount Road if it is dug up for the Metro, Monstrous Traffic Jams would arise.
    Immense fun that would be.

  8. David (unregistered) on August 27th, 2007 @ 9:10 am

    Sadak, thats not the new Chennai international airport, thats the model of the extension of the Dubai international airport. This is something thats done the rounds here too, but its a mistake.

  9. David (unregistered) on August 27th, 2007 @ 9:21 am

    Anonymous, most of the Mt Road metro will be elevated, not underground, according to some articles I’ve seen. So it won’t be as messy as having to dig huge trenches for the underground. At least lets hope so!

  10. tsk tsk (unregistered) on August 27th, 2007 @ 7:40 pm

    haha, i can tell u i have heard plans of double decker expressways on anna salai and poonamalee high road. I dont know how they will manage the expressway and metro..if they have announced the metro now david.

    Atleast announcements are coming faster with economic progress!!

    besides if there is anything they need to do first , it is to upgrade the sewage lines so that skyscrapers can come up, the waterways can be cleaned and the suburbs can be given piped sewerage…

  11. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on August 27th, 2007 @ 8:00 pm

    I’m joining the Doomed Club…

    Seriously, unless someone start some planning around here soon, it will be too late for this city.

  12. Vivek (unregistered) on August 27th, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

    Thad E. Ginathom.
    First Judos for coming with the name. Made me ROFL.
    Second, yes. Unless the Govt seriously starts some infrastructure project, it will be too late. If I say this the Chennai Metroblog people will jump on me, so I will also say the FALSE things. Madras is so great. Madras is NOT Doomed. The Madras people will live forever without any health problems.

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