Even as phase I of Chennai Metro Rail is finally becoming operational in segments, after six years of construction, phase II, stretching over 104.5 km with 104 stations, will soon be submitted to the State government for approval. The bulk of the stretch is likely to be underground, leading to an escalation of cost from the original estimate of Rs. 44,000 crore. Officials of RITES, the organization that has been preparing the detailed project report for the stretch will submit the document in September. Except for Kandanchavadi bus stop to SIPCOT, the metro doesn’t have adequate road width to carry out elevated corridor construction in the rest of the stretch. Hence, the remaining portions of the three corridors will be underground. If most of the three corridors in phase II are underground, then the cost may be revised from the existing estimate of about Rs. 44,000 crore. It may cost about Rs. 150-200 crore per kilometre overground, whereas underground construction may cost as much as Rs. 400-500 crore per kilometre. In this phase too, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) may be providing part of the funds.
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