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May 13, 2009

Is metro rail possible ??

In the race for getting popular with the city’s development-starved population, parties contesting from the Coimbatore Lok Sabha constituency have promised grandiose schemes to raise the stature of the city to that of Chennai and Bangalore. One of the schemes is the metro rail project, on the lines of what is being planned for Chennai. Candidates of the parties have cited the region’s international-level reputation as an industrial, educational and healthcare hub to tell that the people that it does not deserve anything less than what Chennai has or will have. Almost all the six major parties contesting from here have been making promises on these lines.

The Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam even had a sketch of a metro rail on the banners it displayed at its recent public meeting.Quoting consultants on the mission, sources in the Coimbatore Corporation point out that a metro rail, especially the tunnel network, is not feasible as the city is not linear like Mumbai.

On the other hand, Coimbatore is a radial city and therefore suitable for a circular rail network. After exploring various options including skybus, the civic body has decided to have a bus network on dedicated tracks, a source says. Strangely, even members of the parties who have taken part in meetings of the Corporation on these proposals have been unable to resist the temptation of joining those making the promise of a metro rail system.

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