Various measures including designing compact stations and dropping the plan to build a depot at SIPCOT were taken to reduce the overall land required for the project. This has helped Cmrl to reduce the project cost, which was initially Rs 69,180crore, to Rs 61,843crores.
A metrorail official said they have increased the government land acquiring nearly 105 hectares (259 acres) and reduced private land to around 20 hectares (49 acres).
According to the detailed project report, the project originally required nearly 95 hectares of government land on a permanent basis, 120 hectares on temporary basis and nearly 66 hectares of private property in the form of land and floor area of structures. “We have completed acquisition of 30 to 40% of the private land. Acquisition of government land is almost over,” a top Cmrl official said. “Some of the land we will use on a temporary basis,” he added.
Officials said one of the reasons for reducing private property was to bring down the cost and the delay that may happen while acquiring them. “For government land, we pay a single guideline value as compensation and it is easier to acquire. For private land we pay more than two times the value, still there are a lot of issues,” an official said.
While preparing the DPR itself, officials said, designs were tweaked to trim down the size of stations by 25% and changed corridors from underground to elevated at some locations like Thirumangalam, which may reduce cost in terms of land use and construction as well as save time.
Nevertheless, some more changes were made now to further cut cost.
In phase-2, cantilever styled elevated structures are planned where stations will be hanging on the middle of the road over a row of pillars with only the landing of the staircase on either side of the road. Out of 128 stations, 80 stations will be elevated. Recently, officials said they have also dropped the plan to build an elevated depot at SIPCOT. It was proposed as a minor depot to come up at a 6.3 hectare land, which includes 4.5 hectares covered area, with elevated stabling, inspection and washing facilities.
“We have two depots at Madhavaram and Poonamallee. Apart from that we already have a depot at Koyambedu and one more coming up at Wimco Nagar, which would be enough for us for our fleet. We can always park a few trains in the mainline while a few go for maintenance, so it is easier to start service the following day both from the originating and terminating stations,” the official said.