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8 stations not ready, Metro to miss July 2014 deadline

Comments Off on 8 stations not ready, Metro to miss July 2014 deadline   |   December 30, 2013    10:36am   |Contributed by manoja

HENNAI: Metro rail may miss its mid-July deadline to start services on the Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount line, with work on stations way behind schedule.

The line is likely to be opened only in October, officials said.

Sources said contracts to construct the stations with Consolidated Construction Consortium Ltd (CCCL) are on the verge of falling apart as the company failed to meet the deadline — a serious setback for Chennai Metro Rail Ltd, which intended the first corridor to be the project’s showpiece.

Officials said CCCL should have completed the elevated viaducts and stations in the corridor this month so trials could begin early January, according to the original plan. The transit system can be opened to the public only after three months of intensive trials because, unlike suburban trains, the metro rakes will be automated and work on pre-set information.

CCCL was in 2010 and 2011 awarded contracts for Rs 300crore to design and build elevated metro stations in Koyambedu, at CMBT, in Arumbakkam, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar, Sidco, Alandur and St Thomas Mount, but the work by the firm has ground to a crawl.

Only a handful of workers remain at the St Thomas Mount station site and they appear to have little to do. At some sites, CCCL is three months behind schedule.

The company has also won contracts for elevated stations in Guindy, Little Mount and at Officers Training Academy, but it has more time to complete work here.

CCCL has completed structural work in Koyambedu, CMBT, Vadapalani, Arumbakkam and Ashok Nagar and has started interior work. But it is a long way from completing the basic structure for the stations at Sidco, Alandur and St Thomas Mount though it bagged the contracts over two years ago.

Sources said CCCL is in a tight spot financially but, CCCL CEO, R Sarabeshwar denied this. “Metro rail work requires a lot of coordination,” he said when asked, avoiding any mention of a delay.

Sources said other contractors like Gammon are also finding it hard to keep up the pace of work. CMRL terminated a contract with Lanco Infratech to build an elevated stretch between the airport and OTA because the company did not finish much work even after 70% of the contract period.

Officials of CMRL wanted firms building other stretches to take up the job but they were not interested. CMRL then divided the stretch and floated fresh tenders.

ACMRL spokesperson insisted that there was no delay and that the metro would be done on time. “Work is progressing at all station sites,” he said.


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