Chennai Metro collects charges from today

After allowing passengers to use its services free of cost for four days, following the inaugural of the AG DMS-Washermenpet stretch on Sunday, the Chennai Metro Rail is collecting fares from today. The free services were a major hit among Chennaiites with lakhs of people availing them. A press release from CMRL said, "The trial runs that were conducted in both Green Line and Blue Line Corridors have been completed 13-02-2019 and all systems have been stabilized."

It added: "In this connection, Normal Metro Train services will resume from 14-02-2019 and normal fares will be collected as per Fare Table." Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Tirupur on Sunday, flagged off the services on the AG DMS-Washermenpet stretch through video conferening. On the occasion, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami presented a memorandum to Modi, urging the Central government to sanction the second phase of the Chennai Metro Rail Project.

In the memorandum, Palaniswami requested him to direct the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry to sanction the metro project's Phase II under a 50:50 joint venture partnership between the Centre and the state governments as was done for Phase I. Stating that out of the total project cost of Rs 69,180 crore, the land cost and state taxes amounting to Rs 13,723 crore are being met by the state government, he said the balance cost of Rs 55,457 crore has to be funded by the Centre (20 per cent), Tamil Nadu (20 per cent) and funding agencies (60 per cent).

Hence the Central funding may be to the order of Rs 11,100 crore spread over six years, he said and added that Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) has already approved a loan of Rs 20,196 crore and agreement for the loan's first tranche has also been signed.