PLANS to develop a three-line metro network in the Indian city of Chennai were unveiled on April 12 by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Ms J Jayalalithaa.

She told the state assembly that Delhi Metro Rail Corp had completed an initial feasibility study, and has now been asked to prepare a detailed proposal over the next six months at a cost of Rs33m.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2010 at an estimated cost of Rs50·8bn. The initial two lines are forecast to carry around 1 million passengers/day, increasing public transport’s market share from 43% to 60% and helping to tackle growing road congestion.

The 31·5 km first line would run from Tiruvottiyur to Chennai Airport via Anna Salai, with 8·4 km underground in the city centre and the rest elevated along the central reservation of the main road. The 13·5 km second line would run east-west across the city, linking Chennai Beach with Koyambedu.

DMRC has also proposed a 21·6 km third route from the southern end of the elevated MRTS suburban line at Tiruvanmiyur to Ambattur via Luz, Nandanam and T Nagar. Work on this project is not expected to start before 2016.