The “inordinate delay” on the part of the Government of India in approving the Chennai Metro Rail project has forced Tamil Nadu to incur the entire project expenditure so far from its budgetary resources. This has resulted in an expenditure of ₹9,000 crore in the current year, State Finance Minister Thangam Thenarasu, said, while delivering the 2024-25 Budget speech.

Meanwhile, development of metro rail in Chennai continues to get the State government’s attention. The government has allocated ₹12,000 crore for the phase-II of the project. It plans to extend the metro till Kilambakkam (where the new bus terminus has come up) and Parandur (where a greenfield airport is being proposed). Detailed project reports (DPRs) are being prepared for introducing the metro service in other cities.

Chennai Metro Rail, patronised by 3 lakh commuters daily, is being expanded in its second phase to cover 3 routes covering a distance of 119 km. This project is being implemented at a cost of ₹63,246 crore. The first elevated stretch from Poonamallee to Kodambakkam will be commissioned in December 2025.

A DPR to extend the metro rail route from Chennai Airport till Kalaignar Centenary Bus Terminus in Kilambakkam, at a cost of ₹4,625 crore, has been prepared. This will be submitted shortly to the Central government for approval. CMRL is a joint venture of the Central and State governments.

In addition to this, in the next phase, DPRs will be prepared for extending the routes from Koyambedu to Avadi and Poonamallee to Parandur , he said.

Projects in pipeline

Through a special purpose vehicle to be created by a joint venture between Chennai Metro Rail Ltd and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO), a 27-storied building with heritage design, spanning approximately 10 lakh sq ft., will be constructed opposite Chennai Central Railway Station at a cost of ₹688 crore. This new building will cater to the office space needs of public sector, commercial enterprises and IT companies.

The minister also announced that a multi-modal bus terminus and office complex, equipped with ultra-modern amenities, will be developed at a cost of ₹823 crore near the current Broadway bus terminus and Kuralagam building. The government will provide ₹200 crore for this.

The bus terminuses and depots at Anna Nagar (West), Kalaignar Karunandhi Nagar and Mandaveli will be modernised along with office and commercial complexes. DRPs will be prepared for the same, he said.

The minister also announced that DPRs for a metro rail along Avinashi and Sathyamangalam road in Coimbatore, at a cost of ₹10,740 crore, and a metro rail in Madurai connecting Thirumangalam and Othakkadai, at a cost of ₹11,368 crore, have been sent to the union government for approval.