After a long wait, people can hop on Chennai Metro next week for a quick, comfortable ride. On Saturday, the trains will be decorated for the inauguration that is likely to take place on Monday.
According to officials, preparations for decorating the trains will start early on Saturday and the work will be completed by the end of the day. “The stations have been cleaned over the past few days and we expect this work will also be over by tomorrow. We have been asked to get ready for the inauguration,” an official said.
Sources say Chief Minister Jayalalithaa may inaugurate the project on Monday through video conferencing. On Monday, the first stretch of Chennai Metro Rail, built at a cost of Rs. 14,600 crore and launched in 2009, is likely to open from Koyambedu to Alandur, a distance of 10 kilometres.
This stretch that should have been operational at least by October 2014 has missed several deadlines and now finally awaits inauguration.
After various tests and clearances, the final nod for this stretch came only by the end of May from the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety, Bengaluru. But, the project was not inaugurated owing to the model code of conduct in effect for the R.K. Nagar bypoll.
This stretch will have trains running on both tracks from Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar but beyond that point, services will be single-track (both upward and return services) as there is no cross over facility.