Coimbatore is all geared up to sport the states’ first Metrolite system that will span across a distance of 45.87km with close to 40 stations, all set up at important landmarks in the city. The station will also include a halt in the Coimbatore Airport.
If sources are to be believed, the project report states that the city will get a three-phase system. There are two corridors involved in the first phase.
- The first corridor will connect the Vellalore bus terminal with PSG Foundry through the Ukkadam Bus stand which will also provide connectivity to the airport line from Park Plaza that will cover a distance of 31.73km
- The second corridor will connect Collectorate Metro with Valliampalayam Pirivu which will span around 14.13km.
We are proposing a Metrolite system, but the final decision on this will be taken by the State government,“ a source from the committee said. If it turns out to be the actual plan, then Coimbatore will be the first in TN to get a Metrolite system and not a regular Metro.
The first corridor is likely to have 26 stations that will cover the important junctions between Vellalore Bus Stand and PSG Foundry.
These will include: Vellalore Bus Terminal, Mettur, Rail Kalyana Mandapam, Podanur Junction, Thiruvalar Nagar, Kurichi Pirivu, Karumbukkadai, Ukkadam Bus Stand, Town Hall, Coimbatore Junction Station, Collectorate Metro, GKNM Hospital, Lakshmi Mills, Nava India, Peelamedu Pudur, Fun Republic Mall, Hopes College, Coimbatore Medical College, SITRA Circle, MGR Nagar, PLS Nagar, Venkitapuram, Park Plaza, Neelambur, PSG Foundry, and Coimbatore Airport.
The stations in the second corridor that connects Collectorate Metro with Valliampalayam Pirivu include the Collectorate Metro, Ram Nagar, Gandhipuram Bus Stand, Omni Bus Stand, Moor Market, Ganapathy Pudur, Athipalayam Junction, Ramakrishna Mill, Vinayagapuram, Chitra Nagar, Saravanampatti, Viswasapuram, VGP Nagar and Valiyampalayam Pirivu.
The difference between the Metrolite and Metro will be the difference in sizes as the former ones are designed to be compact in size and also there is no concept of concourse, except for the one at Collectorate Metro. “The idea is to keep the cost as minimum as possible. The stations will be built elevated, mostly on the main road, unless there is not enough road width. In the Chennai Metro Rail system, security checks are done and tickets are issued at the concourse level. But in Metrolite, a passenger who enters the station will first reach the foot-overbridge level to purchase a ticket and then head to the platform to take the train,” a source said.
The project report shows that the officials are keen on providing connectivity to all transport hubs like Coimbatore and Podanur Railway junctions, Ukkadam and Gandhipuram Bus Stands, and Vellalore Bus Terminal, and Coimbatore Airport. “This will not only help passengers change modes of transportation with ease but also bring more footfall for the system. In Chennai, Chennai Central and Chennai airport have very high patronage when compared to the remaining stations,” he added.
The major difference will be the capacity to carry the passengers. As the Metrolite can accommodate 300 people as compared to the 1200 passengers by the metro.
As the team is all set to submit the DPR to the state, the team will now look for funding for the phase 1 project.
The mass rapid transit system will be built in accordance with the National Building Code, 2016 and the Metrolite guidelines that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs issued in 2019.