Union Home Minister Amit Shah will take part in the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the phase II project of Chennai Metro Rail during his visit to the city on November 21. Ahead of the event, Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) issued the first Letter of Award so far to a firm for the construction of a sub-station at Villivakkam.
Sources said Mr. Shah will launch the project via videoconference from a hall in Anna Salai. The phase II project will cover 118.9 km with three corridors — Madhavaram to SIPCOT, Madhavaram to Sholinganallur and Light House to Poonamallee. “Now we are making arrangements at this site for the ceremony on Saturday. There may be other projects too from other departments that will be launched during this event,” a source said.
The laying of the foundation stone by the Home Minister at this point in time is crucial for CMRL, as it awaits funding from the Centre for the project. For the ₹60,000-crore project, CMRL will get financial assistance from the State government and various international funding agencies like the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and others. But CMRL has been fervently trying to get a portion of the project funded by the Centre, sources said. A host of tenders have been floated one after another in the past few weeks to get the project started so that the construction of underground and elevated networks could commence at various locations in the city some time next year.