Category: News & Events

L&T to lay tracks for metro

Firm’s Joint Venture with Alstom Projects Bags Rs.444.22 – Cr Contract

Chennai: A joint venture of Larson & Toubro and Alstom Projects has bagged the Rs. 449.22 crore contract to design and lay tracks for Chennai Metro Rail. The work is to be completed in 4 years.

According to a statement from Metro Rail, the company will design, manufacture and lay tracks for the entire length of corridor I, corridor II and also the depot coming up at Koyambedu. “The track work consists of 109 route km including 15 route km inside the depot at Koyambedu,” the statement said.

Metro Rail has selected a standard gauge system, which means the width between two rails will be 1,435 mm. Double tracks will be laid along the two corridors – Washermanpet to Airport via Anna Salai and Chennai Central via Koymbedu to St. Thomas Mount.

Of the total 45 km, 24 km will be underground and 21km will be elevated. Corridor I – Washermenpet to airport – will be 23.1 km long, of which 14.3 km will be underground and 8.8 km will be elevated; while corridor II- Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount – will be 22 km long, of which 9.7 km will be underground and 12.3 km elevated.

The portions from Washermenpet to Saidapet on Anna Salai in Corridor I and the portions from Chennai Central to Tirumangalam in Corridor II will be underground and the remaining portions will be elevated.

As roads in Chennai are narrow, Metro Rail has adopted the standard gauge system for tracks. This gauge permits construction of sharper turns as turning radius of the trains will be much less when compared to broad gauge. Moreover, standard gauge has also minimised land acquistion.

Most Metro Rail systems across the world, including Delhi and Bangalore, have chosen standard gauge. “This will also reduce cost of construction because standard gauge tracks require tunnels with a smaller diameter. Underground tunnels are very expensive, costing around Rs.300 crore per kilometre,” said a source.

The weight of a metro coach is also lower for standard gauge than for broad gauge, which results in saving on energy consumption during operation. As Metro Rail is meant for urban transit, it was decided that there was no need to integrate the tracks into the railway network which is broad gauge.

“Instead of linking tracks to the railway, we will be linking metro with the railway network in such a way that commuters will be able to get down from metro trains and board suburban trains operated by the railways,” said an official.

At St.Thomas Mount, metro line and suburban line will come at different levels at the same railway station. Similarly, at Chennai Central, the underground tunnels will be constructed for commuters to access the suburban railway station and also the main railway station.

Courtesy: The Times of India, Jan 22, 2011.

Kaanum Pongal – Chennai traffic

A sea of humanity could be seen at theme parks, entertainment zones, beaches and shopping malls on Monday, with families going on an ‘outing spree’ on Kaanum Pongal Day on Monday.

Almost every recreational area claimed to have surpassed its previous record of visitors received, thanks to Kaanum Pongal. The Vandalur Zoo, for instance, saw its highest turnout of 57,200 persons. Last year it was 51,000, according to officials.

The Trade Fair at Island Grounds was swelling with crowd, all the three days with a total of nearly 2.5 lakh persons having visited the place, where games and food are big attractions for children and adults alike. On Monday, over 1.5 lakh people thronged the venue, said organisers.

The Semmozhi Poonga on Cathedral Road and the Anna Centenary Library in Kotturpuram, two new attractions, were also popular. The Poonga saw nearly 17,000 people flock from morning till 6 in the evening. The daily average is around 6,000 visitors. The Library had nearly 3,200 people and officials said that after a point, they had to restrict entry of people.

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation ran 200 additional bus services from different parts of the city. That at least was not enough for people heading to the beach as buses remained full. But quite a few regular commuters observed that the traffic congestion was rather less.

Source – http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Chennai/article1098062.ece

Disappointing Census

The Annual Census at the Guindy National Park saw a marginal decrease in the number of spotted deer and blackbucks

The Guindy National Park had its annual census of spotted deer and blackbucks recently and the results showed a decrease in their numbers, as compared to last year. This year, the number of spotted deer in the national park is 1,255 and the number of blackbucks is 359. This is approximately two percent less than last year’s numbers, which were 1,280 and 382 respectively. G.Padmanabhan, superintendent, Guindy National Park, says,

“The decrease is due to natural conditions – usually there is a variation of about 10 to 15 percent. Here however, it’s only two percent, which is not really too bad.”

He adds that general care and maintenance, including digging of ponds for the animals, ensuring food supply, etc are being provided to the animals in the park. The national park, spread across an area close to 2.8 sq.km, is home to a variety of deer – spotted deer and blackbucks, in particular. A number of college students and volunteers also took part in the census at the Gunidy National Park.

Courtesy: - Harini Sriram | Times of India

Passport Status is an SMS away

Are you a resident of Chennai who wants to know the status of the passsport that you have just applied for? Just send a text message(SMS) from

your mobile phone to the Regional Passport Office.

In a bid to bring down the number of applicants, who throng Shastri Bhavan every day to know the status of their passport applications, the RPO on

Friday launched the “Passport Query Through SMS’ system in collaboration with BSNL.

The service was inaugurated by Muktesh Pardeshi, Joint secretary in the ministry of external affairs(MEA).

“A large number of people in the city go daily to the RPO or call the officer concerned to know about the status of their passport applications. This

was adversely affecting work and taking a toll on the passport office officials. So we launched this service for public convenience,” said a top

passport office official.

Now, applicants can send an SMS “STATUS FILENO.” to 9445394945 to get an update on the status of their passport application.

“Applicants will have to wait for a while if the server is busy and then try again. If reply is ‘service not available’, it means the server is busy,” the

officials said.

Officials believe that in the initial phase, applicants are likely to receive “server busy” messages frequently due to the jamming of lines. “But after a

few days, thins will settle down,” they said. The service, to be available round-the-clock, is free.

“The RPO and BSNL have come together with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) for evolving a simple yet effective technology to make available

passport information on cellphones,” V Suresh, director, National Informatics Centre, told TOI.

Courtesy: Daniel P George | TNN