With the Southern Railway successfully initiating preliminary work to renovate the Egmore railway station under the Gati Shakti Project, redevelopment of three more railway stations in the city is being planned.
The Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA) has been entrusted with the upgradation and redevelopment of the Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. M.G. Ramachandran Central Railway Station and the Tambaram and Avadi railway stations. All three fall under the jurisdiction of the Chennai railway division.
B. Guganesan, Chief Public Relations Officer of Southern Railway, said the feasibility study and preparation of detailed project report (DPR) by the RLDA, initiated at a cost of ₹1.07 crore, were in various stages of completion.
Giving a status report of all the three railway stations, he said the survey work by the consultant was completed, and the RLDA and Southern Railway were working on finalising the master plan for the Tambaram railway station. The consultants for the Chennai Central were carrying out the initial survey and the DPR was being prepared.
Regarding the Avadi railway station, Mr. Guganesan said the preliminary work, with a view to provide more amenities to cope with the increasing passenger traffic, had begun with the survey work. Kitco, Kochi, the agency nominated for the survey work, commenced the work in the last week of December.
The RLDA is already involved in commercially developing vacant land near the Tambaram Sanatorium railway station and has been allotted 11 railway stations of the Southern Railway for renovation.
Ever since the announcement that the Tambaram railway station would be made into a terminal, the third one in the city, residents and thousands of rail commuters have highlighted the importance of the western part of the city and have demanded a fourth terminal at the Tiruvallur, Avadi or Arakkonam railway stations.
Social activist T. Sadagopan said two decades ago even before the announcement about Tambaram was made, the plan was to convert the Villivakkam railway station into a terminal. However it was dropped, disappointing thousands of commuters.
He added that now that the Southern Railway has planned to redevelop the Avadi railway station, which has all the necessities for a railway terminal, including a car shed located at Annanur, a bus terminus-cum-depot with multi-modal facility on CTH Road, several defence establishments and being close to Poonamallee, Tiruvallur and Avadi, it should be made into the fourth terminal.