Category: News & Events

Bridge across Ennore creek to link Ponneri and Minjur with city

Thousands of residents of northern parts like Ponneri and Minjur who travel to the city will soon be able to cut down their daily commute by more than 25 km, thanks to a bridge coming up across the Ennore Creek.

The bridge will also make a trip from Chennai Central to Pulicat Lake —now a distance of 66 km — shorter by one-third. Piling work will begin on Monday for the 670-metre bridge to be built on pillars across the water body.

At present, residents of Minjur travel 40 km to reach Chennai Central, while those of Ponneri commute 48 km. The new bridge will bring down the travelling time by more than one hour, as the distance would be brought down by 25 km to 27 km.

The Rs 52.6-crore bridge would connect Ennore High Road off the coastline, with North Chennai Thermal Power Station at the northern end of the creek. The two lane bridge will have approach roads for about 1.7 km on either side of Ennore High Road and near the thermal power station. It will be a two-year demand of residents fulfilled.

Highways officials said preliminary works for the project were in progress. “We have begun work on the embankment near the thermal plant. We are putting up a working platform in the backwaters. Once the pile foundation is complete, the work will be in full swing,” said a senior official. As many as 24 fishing hamlets near Ennore creek will benefit out of this project.
In the absence of such a link, motorists have to go through Ennore High Road, Manali High Road and Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panchetty Road to reach the thermal station, for about 24 km to reach the other side to Minjur and Ponneri. Pulicat, a major tourist attraction of north Chennai, is only 12 km from Ponneri, but it has not developed as a major getaway travel for the city dwellers because of the distance. Pulicat may get more visitors from the city as the bridge will cut down the distance by more than 20 km.

Besides people working in the city, those from fishing hamlets such as Ennore Kuppam, Thalangkuppam, Nettu Kuppam, Mugadwara Kuppam, Chinna Kuppam, Aathu Kuppam and Thaduvankarai will benefit from the project.

Source -

City to more than double its size in a few weeks

The proposed expansion of Chennai city is gathering pace and is likely to be completed in a few weeks from now. A high-level committee led by the chief engineer (general) was set up on Friday to ensure that the expansion goes smoothly, ahead of the local body elections in October.

The committee includes law officers, council secretary, assistant commissioner (general administration and personnel), district revenue officer (land and estate), chief engineer (buildings and bridges), superintending engineer (bus route roads), revenue officer and health officer. Constituted by corporation commissioner D Karthikeyan, it will play a major role in organising the merger of 42 local bodies with the city corporation.

“The committee will look into the various modules of expansion, including zones and wards, as well as providing adequate infrastructure. It will also look into movable and immovable properties in these local bodies,” said a senior official. The members of the committee will meet periodically and hold discussions before coming out with a blueprint.

Currently, the corporation’s 30-point agenda covers roads, bridges, buildings, audit account, birth, death and solid waste management, submitted by the local bodies last year. The committee is likely to submit its report before July 20.
The delimitation of wards will be crucial to the expansion. The corporation set the boundaries for the delimitation based on Census 2001. A special geographical information system (GIS) cell at Ripon Buildings worked on the boundaries using Google maps, a web-mapping service application from the popular search engine. The nine municipalities, eight town panchayats and 25 village panchayats were given prints of these maps to mark boundaries. “These were then converted through GIS software and georeference boundaries were developed,” an official said.

In the expanded corporation, Kathivakkam, which now has 24 councillors,will have just two, while neighbouring Tiruvottiyur, now represented by 48 members, will have 12. Manali and Madhavaram municipalities will have 3 and 7 wards. In south Chennai, Alandur will top the list with eight wards, while the rest get one to three wards.

Source – Times Of India         - Julie Mariappan | TNN

CHENNAI METRO RAIL Tracks soon on 100 Ft Rd Work On Koyambedu – St Thomas Mount Stretch Is Progressing Fast

CHENNAI METRO RAIL: Koyambedu - St Thomas Mount Stretch

Metro Rail is on track to meet its 2013 deadline to run trains between Koyambedu and St Thomas Mount along an elevated line. With works progressing at a rapid pace, the Chennai Metro Rail Corporation will begin to lay tracks in the section from January 2012.

Elevated viaducts have been placed over pillars for about 1.5km from Koyambedu on the Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount stretch. Works are on to build the elevated viaducts for the rest of the section. Koyambedu to St Thomas Mount stretch is part of the 22-km Chennai Central-St Thomas Mount line (Corridor-II). After installing viaducts, firming up the surface on top of the viaducts, laying of tracks and construction of stations, Metro Rail will run trial services from Koyambedu to St Thomas Mount by 2013-end. The track laying is taken up as a joint venture by Larsen and Toubro (L&T), Alstom Transport, SA and Alstom Project India at a cost of 449.23 crore. Track laying will start from Koyambedu. “The tracks are going to be imported,” said Metro Rail general manager (public relations) S Krishnamoorthy.

The tracks will be of standard gauge (4 feet and 8.5 inches) which has a low turning radius. This has been used for metro rail networks in several world cities like Cairo, Madrid, Bangkok, Manila and Beijing. “Standard gauge is preferred because most of the metro’s components are imported. Manufacturers across the world build machines, coaches and engines on standard gauge. It’s easier to source track laying equipment and rolling stock of global standard if the gauge we follow is the same as the one used worldwide. Metro Rail will be able to get the best companies to build its infrastructure,” a senior official said.

The Koyambedu-Ashok Nagar stretch will be completed first because the contract to install the elevated viaduct was awarded to Soma Constructions as early as in February 2009. L&T, which won the contract to build the elevated viaduct from Ashok Nagar to St Thomas Mount in January 2010 have also started a good portion of the works.

On the same corridor, the stretch from Chennai Central to Koyambedu is underground. Preliminary works like soil testing have started along Poonamallee High Road under which tunnels will run till they reach Aminjikarai. Soil tests have been completed near Chennai Central.

“Soil tests are essential to finalise the design of tunnels and underground stations,” said a Metro Rail official. Metro Rail is planning to start boring works by year-end when tunnel boring machines would arrive from abroad.

Two Metro Lines:

Corridor I: Washermenpet to Chennai airport (via Anna Salai)
Corridor II: Chennai Central station to St Thomas Mount (via Koyambedu)


1) Chennai Central to Saidapet (underground) stretch of Corridor I:
Soil tests began two months ago. Tunnel boring machines will be employed to avoid digging out earth for the underground construction. This work is expected to begin in December.

2) Saidapet to Officers Training Academy stretch of Corridor I: Pile work has been completed and pillars are being erected. Viaducts will be installed near Officers Training Academy soon. Work on metro station at Guindy has begun.

3) Chennai Central to Koyambedu (underground) stretch of Corridor II: Soil tests were carried out in June at Chennai Central and Egmore.

4) Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount stretch of Corridor II: Tracks will be laid first in this section. Work is set to begin near Kathipara flyover and at Kasi theatre Moving Ahead One Step At A Time.

STAGE 1: Soil test
Around 75 boreholes were used to test soil condition at various places. This was to find whether underground rail or elevated corridor was best suited in that location. This began in 2003.

STAGE 2: Pile load test
Earth was bored for 27 metres near Koyambedu and close to 10 metres in other areas to gauge how much weight the earth could withstand. Load tests were carried out in 2009-2010.

STAGE 3: Building piles and pillars
Underground piles were built to provide support to overhead pillars of the elevated corridor. After that, pillars were built near Koyambedu bus terminus, Arumbakkam and Vadapalani by mid 2010.

STAGE 4: Installing viaducts
After pillars were built, huge prefabricated viaducts were installed using cranes on top of the pillars. Viaducts have been installed on a 1.5km stretch from Koyambedu.

STAGE 5: Laying tracks
After the base structures are built, standard gauge rail tracks will be laid. The track will require minimal or no maintenance. Metro Rail plans to begin laying of tracks from Jan 2012.

STAGE 6: Building stations and depot Koyambedu to St Thomas Mount stretch will have seven stations.
This work will start at a later stage because entry and exit ramps have to be set up at all stations 449.23 cr is the cost of laying tracks. This project is a joint venture of Larsen and Toubro, Alstom Transport, SA and Alstom Project India. 22 km Koyambedu to St Thomas Mount stretch is part of the 22-km Chennai Central-St Thomas Mount line (Corridor-II).

Source – Times of India.

Metro Rail’s modern depot shaping up at Koyambedu

Trains To Be Maintained, Parked And Cleaned At This Yard.
- Ayyappan V

The layout of the Metro Rail depot, which is expected to be ready by the time the Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount line works gets completed Stabling shed (place where trains will be parked overnight)

• 12 stabling lines in a covered shed

• Automatic car washing plant

• Lathe to re-profile wheels Inspection shed (Place to check for wear and tear)

• It’s going to be at 3 levels — for maitenance of undergear, body or floor and roof equipment Rolling stock maintenance shed (for major repairs)

• Six lines will be there in the maintenance shed Heavy repair maintenance shed (for overhaul)

• Four sets of cranes to lift coaches

• A wheel shop Infrastructure maitenance shed

• To maintain diesel shunting locomotive, overhead line maintenance vehicles, power supply equipment, track maintenance

Metro Rail, which may be limited to 45km in the city with the state government declaring its preference for Monorail, is moving fast to complete work on the modern depot and stabling yard at Koyambedu. After services start in 2013, trains will be parked, maintained and cleaned here. However, Metro Rail is not sure if the second stabling depot planned at Tirusulam near the airport will be constructed at all. The depot, authorities felt, would help start early-morning services from the airport. While the Koyambedu depot will be more or less adequate to operate services on the proposed corridors – Washermenpet to Chennai Airport via Anna Salai and Chennai Central to St Thomas Mount via Koyambedu – Metro Rail feels a second yard is also needed. The final decision is with the government.

“The stabling yard near the airport will be useful only when the frequency of trains is increased. It will be constructed under a separate tender. There is no urgency that the yard be ready when the trains start running. But the Koyambedu depot is crucial,” said a senior Metro Rail official.

The depot, for which L&T has bagged a Rs198-crore contract, will come up on 26 hectares of land off Jawaharlal Nehru Salai and beyond the Koyambedu bus terminus. “The works are progressing as per schedule. Land works are nearing completion and the required machinery is getting ready” the official said. It will be a depot-cum-workshop where trains will be brought on a ramp from the Koyambedu Metro Rail station. It will have the capacity to handle 54 six-car trains and will house the machinery required to maintain trains, tracks, overhead power cables and others. There would be an inspection shed at three levels to inspect the roof, body and floor, and the under-gear of coaches, said an official. There will be 15 stabling lines that can handle two sixcar trains, a washing plant, maintenance workshops, stores and a few other facilities. A state-of-the-art operation control centre from where all train movements and operational activities can be monitored will be set up.

Keeping future expansion in mind, Metro Rail has provided space for another 15 lines. But officials said they might not be required because the Metro was unlikely to be expanded beyond phase I. The government is yet to decide on the issue.

Source – Times Of India

Metro Rail work picks up speed:

Soil Testing Begins For Construction Of Underground Stations At Four Places On Washermenpet-Chennai Airport Corridor.

V Ayyappan | TNN

Back in 2010, when work on the Chennai Metro Rail was just gaining momentum, then managing director of Chennai Metro Rail Limited T V Somanathan said that construction of the underground stretch would be like a heart by-pass surgery. Inconvenient and painful in the beginning, but once completed, it would be smooth sailing.

The treatment has started, it seems. Driving along Anna Salai is proving to be a trying experience as Metro Rail has begun soil testing at four places — Government Estate, LIC building, Nandanam and Saidapet — on the underground stretch of Metro Rail. In all, seven underground stations will be constructed on Anna Salai as part of the Washermenpet-Chennai airport corridor. These are Government Estate (near new secretariat), LIC, Thousand Lights, Gemini, Teynampet, Chamiers Road and Saidapet.

“Full-scale work will begin after monsoon. By then, tunnel boring machines will be employed. We have not sought traffic diversion as yet,” said a senior Metro Rail official.

Traffic flow is expected to worsen on the stretch when Metro Rail begins soil testing at Thousand Lights, Gemini and Teynampet in the following months. The alternatives are limited when it comes to traffic diversion along Anna Salai. However, work on the underground stations will be carried out in a phased manner to minimise congestion. Metro Rail proposes to excavate a part of the road, complete work on a half of the station, refill the completed portion and then repeat the same process for the second half.

A senior Metro Rail official said, “We have decided to ask for road space to be cordoned off as and when the soil tests begin. Works will be carried out after obtaining permission from the traffic police.” A joint venture between Gammon India and Mosmetrostroy, a Russian firm, has bagged the contract to build the underground stations of Metro Rail.

Go one station at a time, cops tell Metro Rail:

Metro Rail has awarded contracts for construction of elevated corridor and underground corridor on two stretches — from Chennai Central to St Thomas Mount via Koyambedu and from Washermenpet to Chennai airport via Anna Salai. Elevated viaduct is complete on the Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar stretch while pillars have been installed and work is in progress on the Ashok Nagar to Guindy stretch Soil testing has been done on EVR Periyar Salai The elevated line from Koyambedu to St Thomas Mount is expected to be completed by 2013.

City traffic police have their task cut out in the coming months as the situation on Anna Salai is bound to go from bad to worse. Metro Rail has begun soil testing to build underground stations at Government Estate, LIC, Nandanam and Saidapet. The traffic police have asked Metro Rail to go about in a phased manner to ease congestion on the arterial road. Though underground stations are set to come up at seven places along the Washer menpet-Chennai airport corridor, currently, soil testing is being carried out at only four places.

“We have asked Metro Rail to stagger works and not carry out soil investigation simultaneously at all places. This is the best possible way to manage traffic,” said Sanjay Arora, additional commissioner of police (traffic). The traffic police have advised Metro Rail to complete construction at one or two locations before proceeding further. Metro Rail proposes to begin construction of the underground stations after November and carry out tunnelling by December.

Nevertheless, traffic has slowed down along the stretches where soil tests are being carried out. The carriageway of the road has reduced as nearly eight metres have been cordoned off along the road.
The traffic department is working closely with Metro Rail. “Whenever Metro Rail informs us about initiating work on a stretch, we scan the map. If the work sites are in close proximity to each other, we advise them against it as diversions are not possible. This pattern will have to be followed in future also because it is the only way to prevent traffic from worsening,” said Arora.

Earlier, when works were in progress on the elevated viaduct from Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar on 100-feet Road, the traffic department in consultation with Chennai Metro Rail worked out a traffic management plan which included diversions along alternative routes.

Source – Times Of India.

CM sets 2-yr target for monorail:

Chief minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday presented Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with a detailed memorandum, complete with requests for grants, assistance and funds.

Improving transportation and infrastructure in Chennai are high on her list as she’s sought close to 40,000 crore for various projects, including reviving the monorail to strengthening drainage and road networks.
Decongesting roads and improving transport systems are on her agenda as Jayalalithaa’s memorandum says she plans to complete the first phase of the monorail project in two years. She’s sought assistance from the Centre under the National Urban Transport Policy to implement the first phase of 111km at a cost of roughly 16,650 crore, which works out to 150 crore per km.

Jayalalithaa had decided on the 300 km-long mono rail project during her previous term as chief minister. Her memorandum says the project is capital intensive but environment-friendly and is in line with the state’s goal to increase the share of public transportation from the current 27% to 46% by 2026.

Traffic and transportation experts say the intention is good as the city lacks adequate public transport but say the two-year deadline is rather ambitious. “It will take about a year to draw up the plans properly as only feasibility reports have been done so far. So four years is a more realistic completion date but the mono rail is a necessity,” says one expert.

Others say the system will be an effective feeder service for existing bus networks and the Metro Rail which is under construction. “The mono rail can serve the suburbs well as it has great flexibility. Chennai needs different modes of transport which can be inter-connected seamlessly,” says K P Subramanian, former professor of urban engineering, Anna University.

It is also faster and easier to construct. “The mono rail is quick to construct and does not affect existing infrastructure. Unlike a bus rapid transport system or Metro Rail, you don’t have to acquire land or widen roads as the mono rail can be constructed along the medians of roads,” says transportation engineer and planner Mark Selvaraj of Landtech Engineers.

Source – Times Of India

Tube Passage at Airport

Air Passengers Can Use Glass Tube To Move Between Two Terminals And To Access Metro Rail Station.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has begun works on a glass tube linking the international terminal with the domestic terminal and the Metro Station at the airport under expansion. It will allow air passengers to walk across the two terminals and also access the station in case the flyer prefers to take the Metro home after touching down.

The glass tube is being built underneath a one-km flyover that runs horizontal to the two terminals. While departing passengers can drive up the flyover and alight in front of the terminal entry gates, passengers who arrive by Metro Rail can walk through the glass tube and reach the respective terminals.

As the flyover is complete, AAI started fabrication works of the tube this week. “Works will be complete by October,” said a senior AAI official. The tubes will be airconditioned and have firefighting system.
Though the flyover near the terminals will be similar to the one at Mumbai airport, the glass tube for passengers is going to be unique for Chennai airport.

Now the downside. If you think that AAI is going to put up a walkalator inside the tube to do the walking for you, then you are in for a disappointment. AAI will not install walkalators, and passengers will have to walk a long way between the terminals and the proposed Metro Rail station. But a senior AAI official said the tube would be wide enough to accommodate a walkalator, in future.

“The walkalator will cost approximately Rs 26 crore. The fund approved for the airport expansion does not take into account the cost of walkalator. It will have to be installed later after more funds are sanctioned. The facility will be installed under phase II,” he said.

Metro Rail too does not seem to be keen on having a walkalator in the pathway that will link its station with airport terminals. Chennai Metro Rail has already transferred money to AAI to build their airport station and a walkalator does not figure in the deal.

Airport expansion and modernisation works are progressing at rapid pace to meet a revised deadline by the end of the year. Recently, AAI chairman VP Agrawal reviewed the progress of works and claimed that the new domestic terminal would be ready by October this year. The airport will be able to handle 23 million passengers per year when the new terminals are completed.

Source – Times Of India

White LED lamps to replace vapour bulbs :

The Chennai Corporation has decided to go green by replacing sodium vapour lamps with light-emitting diode (LEDs) lamps in all zones except Basin Bridge. The initiative will help the local body conserve 5,71,261 units of energy annually and save Rs 30 lakh per year of tax payers’ money. The decision was made at the monthly council meeting chaired by mayor M Subramanian on Tuesday. The new lighting system will be implemented in nine of the 10 corporation zones. A total of 2,785 LEDs will be installed at a cost of Rs 7.54 crore.

“Many councillors have been asking us to use LEDs for a long time. It will not only save energy but also help us use tax payers’ money better. Besides, it will be one step to fight global warming,” said mayor Subramanian.

The corporation first experimented with LEDs three years ago when it installed them at Kavankarai in Saidapet to assess their performance. The new LEDs will be installed mainly in slums. “The entire work is expected to get completed in four to six months. The sodium vapour lamps that were removed would be used to replace defunct street lights,” Subramanian said.

The white-light-emitting diode lamps have a longer life and use relatively low energy when compared to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). LED sources are compact, which gives flexibility in designing lighting fixtures and good control over the distribution of light with small reflectors or lenses. LED lamps have no breakable glass tubes, and their internal parts are rigidly supported, making them resistant to vibration and impact.
“The installation of LEDs is a welcome step taken by the corporation as it would give better illumination. It is also less polluting,” said K Sakthivel, a resident of Vadapalani.

The history of lighting facilities, especially streetlights, in the city dates back to 1785 when a few dozen oil lamps were installed near Fort St George. In 1910, the city had around 6,500 oil lights as against a mere 200 oil lights in 1857. Electric street lighting was introduced in 1910 and a separate electrical department was introduced. At present, the corporation maintains 1,20,007 street lights in the city. The total energy consumption of these street lights is 15 MW per month and it costs Rs 1.6 lakh per month.

The council also approved Rs 3.26 crore for illumination and a sound-and-light show at the 110-year-old Victoria Hall. It also fixed new deadlines for four road projects between June and September this year. The projects at Villivakkam, Rangarajapuram, MC Road and Kathivakkam High Road were to be completed last year.
Going Green History of streetlights in the city dates back to 1785 when a few dozen oil lamps were installed near Fort St George. The number of oil lamps went up from 200 in 1857 to 6,500 in 1910. Electric street lighting was introduced in 1910 and a separate department – electrical department – was introduced in the same year. At present, the corporation maintains 1,20,007 streetlights in the city. The total energy consumption by these streetlights is 15MW and it costs 1.6 lakh per month.

Source:Times Of India

The city traffic police plan to install redlight cameras at all 240 traffic signals

The city traffic police plan to install redlight cameras at all 240 traffic signals to zero in on stolen vehicles. “The redlight camera system, to be installed in a couple of months, will be fully automatic. There will be at least three cameras positioned at the corners of every intersection and will all be linked to a computer in the master control room. The devices will automatically photograph vehicles that are stolen or whose drivers jump signals,” said M Ravi, additional commissioner of police (traffic).

The cameras will help record minute details of stolen vehicles and also those violating red-light signals. The project, estimated to cost Rs 10 crore, will be funded by the state government and the World Bank.

The project is a first-ofits-kind intiative and aimed at bringing Chennai on a par with cities in the UK and US. Officials would also feed vehicle registration details into the system. “The moment we get a complaint about a stolen vehicle, the person in the control room will feed the details in the server. When the vehicle passes through the camera-equipped intersections, the device will alert the police stations and the police will be able to easily trace the vehicle. If the number of the stolen vehicle is changed, the device will also say that the number plate and modes do not match. It will alert the control room,” added Ravi.

Ravi said the cameras would also help find out all the previous violations against the vehicles concerned, especially if some of them had jumped traffic signals continuously. The vehicle would be traced and the culprit arrested. There was also a plan to implement the idea across the state if the project proved to be successful in Chennai, he said.

A ten-member technical committee, headed by Ravi and experts from IIT Madras and Anna University, submitted a detailed report in this regard to the state government.

He said that city traffic police also planned to set up a boom barrier system in the city on the lines of those in European countries. If the signal shows red then a barricade (boom barrier) will block the road like railway gates. It will help reduce traffic violations at signals and help pedestrians to cross the roads.

“The boom barrier system will be implemented at 50 major junctions. A single boom barrier costs around Rs 2.5 lakh. This system will help divert the traffic when VIPs pass on the routes or in case of emergency situations like major accidents,” said Ravi. He said that city police department had constructed the Traffic Education Centre (TEC) in the campus of the new commissionerate, where they would teach about the new system, adding that traffic police had planned to introduce the traffic interceptor vehicles that would help in chasing speeding vehicles.

Source:Times Of India
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Metro to run trains every 6 minutes

Metro to run trains every 6 minutes
Four-Car Rakes Will Start Operations In 2013, Carry 1,276 Commuters :

The first train of Metro may start running only in 2013, but Chennai Metro Rail has already chalked out a comprehensive traffic plan. According to the plan, Metro will operate four-car trains during peak hours at 6 minute intervals in the Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount stretch in 2013, and the Washermenpet-Little Mount-Chennai airport stretch and the Chennai Central-Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount stretch in 2014. The deadlines have been set for receiving the coaches, conducting trial runs, commencement of services on the elevated line and underground lines. The four-car metro will have a capacity to carry 1,276 commuters, including seating and standing. The frequency of the trains will be reduced to four minutes in the Washermenpet-Little Mount-airport stretch and the Chennai Central-Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount in 2016. Metro hopes that the patronage for services would increase by 2026. So, six-car trains would be operated in both the corridors, which would be ready by 2015 as per current estimates, said an official. Works are progressing briskly to build elevated stations and viaducts between Koyambedu and St Thomas Mount while metro is planning to award tender for the elevated line from airport to Officer’s Training Academy. The Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount stretch is 9 km long, while the Little Mount-Chennai airport stretch is 7 km. “We have a tentative schedule in place. The track will be completed and tests can be conducted by last quarter of 2012, and the pilot rake will come from a consortium of Alstom Transport SA and Alstom India Ltd by the end of the same year,” said a senior official. Metro rail would receive nine rakes in the beginning of 2013 while the rest of the 33 rakes will arrive by the end of 2014. Services would commence on the elevated stretch and the underground stretch only after conducting three levels of tests — dynamic test, a twomonth service trial and a month-long blank operation. Metro rail is in the process of identifying a contractor to carry out operations and maintenance of stations and lines. The contractor is expected develop the stations, carry out interior decorations, install passenger amenities like self-service kiosks, toilets, telecommunication services and others immediately after the stations are ready.