Chennai: Central square to be ready by December-end – Times of India

Chennai News

CHENNAI: By 2022, passengers heading to Central to either board a long-distance train or a suburban could take a pitstop, relax by the concrete benches or the lawns with their luggage for some time before proceeding with their journey, as developmental work to beautify the area in front of Central Railway Station and Moore Market Complex will be completed by end of this month.
The work underway for the last six months is part of the Central Square project. The project estimated to cost 400crore also involves construction of other passenger amenities for multi-modal integration to link suburban trains, MRTS and metro rail with outstation trains and buses with pedestrian subways, underground parking and a 20-storey central plaza with bus bays.
Earlier this week, workers were seen planting trees near the pruned lawns even as the frames to set up the canopies were installed near the benches. “Hard and soft landscape works including public seating benches in progress. The work will be completed by the end of December 2021,” a CMRL official said.
The beautification work in front of Central station and MMC involves building new walkways, seating areas with concrete benches and tables with canopies, water fountains and grass lawns. CMRL has completed similar work in front of Ripon Building.
“Our plan was to have landscaping from Raja Muthiah Road up to Central railway station covering Ripon Buildings and Victoria Hall. Part of it is done and opened. Once the renovation is completed across the whole planned stretch, the features that we are adding are really going to make the area lively,” an official said.
CMRL took over the area in front of Ripon Buildings and Victoria Hall in 2012, during the construction of the Central metro underground station and its tunnels.
Earlier this year, Southern Railway had refused approval for the beautification work in front of Central Railway Station and Moore Market Complex citing obstruction to passenger flow. While CMRL was completing similar work in front of Ripon Building, Southern Railway gave permission to CMRL to carry out the developmental works, which began in July.
Other works planned as part of Central Square are a three-level underground parking space that can accommodate nearly 800 cars for which construction is underway. Four pedestrian subways including one that will link Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital with Central Railway Station and evening bazaar road, which according to CMRL is nearing completion.
The highlight of the project, CMRL officials said, will be the Central Plaza building that will soar 20 floors above the ground, work for which may be initiated next year. The plaza is expected to have office space, a shopping area and hotel, and a waiting lounge for passengers and bus crew. The plaza will have bus bays on the front for local and outstation buses to pick up and drop off passengers.