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Monorail will give Chennaiites an easy ride

T.E. Raja Simhan | Updated on March 12, 2018

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A rapidly growing population has increased the strain on Chennai's transport. Monorail is the next thing in the State Government's ambitious plan to provide a diversified transport system for the city.

The Government plans to have a 300-km monorail in a phased manner. Thus, Chennai will have the distinction of having four rail-network systems — the electrical multiple units (EMU), the mass rapid-transit system (MRTS), the metro rail and, in future, monorail. In a monorail system, the train is either suspended from or straddles a narrow guideway. Equipped with rubber tyres and propelled by electricity, monorail vehicles are wider than the guideway that supports them, making it seem as if they are hovering along the track.

While extension of the MRTS from Velachery to St Thomas Mount is in full swing, work on the metro rail is gathering pace with the Vadapalani-St Thomas Mount stretch expected to be functional in a couple of years.

Why monorail?

The Chennai Metropolitan Area is expected to grow into a mega city with a population of over 10 million in the next decade. Hence, there is a need to improve the integrated urban transport system in Chennai.

According to the Government's plan, a multi-modal integrated urban-transport system will be put in place in Chennai by integrating the existing public transport system with the Chennai metro and by establishing an elaborate monorail network.

The State Government has initiated steps for the implementation of the monorail project that will cover the entire Chennai Metropolitan Area with a network of monorail corridors.

Investigation in this regard has already begun. Financial closure will be achieved within this year and the work will start at the earliest. Though the metro-rail system is under construction, the project is cost-intensive and will take time to be completed. Hence, the Government will implement the monorail project in Chennai to integrate with the existing transport system. Phase-1 of the project will cover 111 km, the Governor, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, said in his address to the State Assembly.

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Published on August 23, 2011
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