Metro work burns MTC’s fuel

While the tunnelling for the metro rail gets underway in the city its not just the commuter who is having to put up with inconvenience, but also the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) which is having to burn more fuel now with the buses forced to take deto-urs in several areas on account of it.

The already cash-starved MTC is reportedly paying nearly Rs 40 lakh more a month towards diesel as a result of the diversions.

A senior MTC officer admits that the traffic diversions have affected its time schedule and are a drain on its finances. “We have been forced to take diversions on three stretches owing to the Metro Rail work – at Anna Salai, EVR Salai (KMC stretch) and Anna Nagar.

We consume a lot more diesel than before as around 430 buses, which make 5,300 trips through the Anna Nagar stretch every day, are now having to take a detour of between one and three km, covering an additional 4,000 km a day in the process,” he says. With each MTC bus using 909 litres of diesel a day now, the MTC’s expenditure on this route alone amounts to Rs 12.54 lakh a month.

The 350 MTC buses, which make 4,400 trips a day on the KMC stretch are now having to take diversions over 3,000 km and are in the process consuming an additional 697 litres of diesel that adds Rs 9.62 lakh a month to MTC’s bills.

The 532 MTC buses, which use the Anna Salai stretch are now covering an additional 1,800 km a day owing to the traffic diversions and guzzling up 409 litres of additional diesel a day, which the MTC pays Rs 5,64,545 for every month.

While this totals nearly Rs 30 lakh , some officials put the actual figure at around Rs 40 lakh considering the congestion on the roads following the traffic diversio-ns.

But the MTC seems to be treating the additional expenditure as unavoidable given the fact that the city cannot do without the Metro and Mono Rails that promise to make it less congested in the long run.

Traffic diversions affect auto spare parts business

The one-way routes implemented for completion of metro rail work have diverted the sales traffic of most shops located on these roads to elsewhere.

Auto spare parts traders located on General Patters Road complain a serious drop in the customers following the one-way rule that has also laid stringent restrictions on parking on the road. “The traffic changes have brought our income down by 50 per cent,” laments M. Abdul of Kwality Auto Accessories, located on GP road.

“Most customers are shying from visiting shops along this side owing to traffic rearrangements. With bikers frequenting for spares in the area, we have been left with no space for parking,” he laments.

As a stand-by measure, these folks have leased some space for parking their customers’ vehicles inside Jayaprada theatre complex. “We have rented the space on monthly basis by paying Rs 5,000,” he adds.

Echoing similar sentiments, Naresh of Rajasthan Tyres says as the police don’t permit to park cars on the road even for a minute, there is no place to carry out any kind of fitting work on them. “Nearly 30 per cent of our revenue has been lost in view of the traffic alterations on the stretch,” he complains.

Further down in Teynampet, the company-owned HP petrol bunk outlet seems to be the worst hit owing to traffic block. With vehicles headed to Gemini Flyover asked to take a diversion at the Teynampet junction, the petrol bunk located a little further on the main road seems to have witnessed a serious drop of customers. “W used to sell 80,00 litres per day earlier. But now it has dipped to just about 1,000 litres a day,” laments N. Subramanian, manager of the HP petrol pump.

Those who still frequent the gas station are the regular account holders keen to fill petrol on credit basis. “We hope that metro rail construction just gets completed as per schedule else small traders like us will have serious problems,” he adds.

metro tunnelling work delayed by 2 months

DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) advisor E. Sreedaran and prime consultant for Chennai metro rail’s phase-1 project has rightly emphasised the need to meet the deadline, for CMRL is over two months behind schedule in underground tunnelling work.

Originally scheduled for late March, the works have been deferred to May. CMRL sources preferring anonymity told DC that the tunnelling works would be taken up only by mid May.

It is learnt from CMRL sources that the assembling of mammoth TBMs (tunnel boring machines) and start of tunneling works have not begun yet owing to delay in completion of the diaphragm wall and guide wall construction. This, despite transporting a few TBMs to the dredging sites over a month back.

Even as per CMRL website, diaphragm wall construction is in progress at Washermenpet, Mannadi, high court, Chennai Central, Egmore, Nehru Park, KMC, Shenoy Nagar, Anna Nagar East, Anna Nagar tower, Thirumangalam, Government Estate and Saidapet ramp area.

The work is yet to begin in Chamiers Road, Teynampet and Tirumangalam.

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