Terming AIADMK government’s proposed monorail project as “not really suited” for Chennai,former Delhi Metro chief E Sreedharan today said the state government must soon implement Phases II and III of the Chennai metro.
“I am disappointed that the Tamil Nadu government is not thinking of Phase II and III of Chennai Metro project and is instead thinking of monorail type of project,not really suited for a city of this size and population,” Sreedharan,credited with the success of Delhi Metro,said at a function here.
He said monorail is ‘totally inadequate’ for a city like Chennai,with a population of more than six million.”Monorail’s capacity is only one third or one fourth of the normal Metro and cost of operation is almost 50 per cent more.”
He said monorail can “at best” be only a feeder service to metro,while metro forms the backbone of the transport system. Tamil Nadu government in 2012-13 budget said global bids have been invited for implementing Phase I,covering 57 km and estimated to cost Rs 8,500 crore.
Asked if he planned to meet authorities in Tamil Nadu to persuade them to take up Phases II and III,he said “I have not thought about it.But I may take up this issue because they must think of taking up phases II and III now itself.”
Holding that studies on these phases would take upto 12 to 18 months,he said “the least time required to start a metro is anything from two to three years. Another 18 months for sanction. Unless you start now,you cannot think of Phase II to start. As it is there will be a big gap between Phase 1 completion and Phase 2 start,which is not good.”
On funds for the project,he said “For the government,it is not a big job to get Rs 6,000 or Rs 7,000 crore. Because most of the funds in any case is being borrowed from either Japan or World Bank or Asian Development Bank. So it will not be difficult for the government to find money required.”
He said Tamil Nadu government has not done any detailed study on the monorail project. “Any delay in projects will ultimately make them not viable. Even if a day is lost,a couple of crore of rupees is lost.”
On the first monorail project coming up in Mumbai,Sreedharan said “It is coming at a very high cost. In Mumbai,it is going to cost around Rs 170 crore per km. It is as expensive as a Metro. Then why monorail and why not go for metro which gives three times capacity.”
Asked about the possibility of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in Chennai,he said,”BRT is possible only if you have got very wide roads,where one road can serve exclusively for buses. Such roads are not available in Chennai.”
Earlier,Sreedharan received ‘For the Sake of Honour’ Award from the Rotary Club of Madras (Rotary International District 3230).