Amid being surfaced with the intra-party challenges over Sasikala's arrival and external allegations from the oppositions, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and ADMK Joint coordinator Edappadi Palaniswami has been scoring marks and displaying more talking points at the campaign trails over his governance in his bid to retain the reign. The upcoming legislative election is the first assembly polls for Edappadi Palaniswami as the Chief Minister and if ADMK wins the polls, the party would be forming the government for the third consecutive time.
Edappadi Palaniswami has been unveiling major announcements to cover the voters from Rs 2,500 Pongal gift, farm-loan waiver, welfare schemes, to withdrawing the petty cases filed by the police across the state. In line with that, the Chief Minister has on Saturday announced what has been demanded by the residents of Chennai for many years- reducing the Metro rail fare. When the Metro rail came into operation in Chennai, it was dubbed that the Chennai Metro fares are among the highest in India.
The fare to travel the full length of Chennai Metro was Rs 70, which was not economical for the residents. The state government has been surfaced with incessant demands from the residents to reduce the fare. Their demand has finally been heard by the government ahead of the assembly polls. On Saturday, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has announced that the maximum fare to travel in Chennai Metro Rail has been slashed by Rs 20, with that the fare to travel the full length of Chennai Metro will now be Rs 50, and the changes of the new fare will come into effect from February 22.
According to a press statement issued by the Chief Minister, the slab fares have also been reduced along with the maximum fare. As per the new fare structure, the passengers will have to pay Rs 10 for a distance of up to two kilometers, and for a distance between two to five kilometers, they have to pay Rs 20. For traveling a distance of 5-12 kilometers, the passengers will have to pay Rs 30. For the distance of up to 21 kilometers, the fare stands at Rs 40 and beyond 21 kilometers, the fare will be Rs 50.
Along with the revised fares, a discount of 20% of the fare will be provided to those who book tickets using CMRL smart cards or QR code. According to reports, passengers who enjoy unlimited day passes at Rs 100 for the 45-kilometer long phase-1 of CMRL will now get to enjoy unlimited day passes at the same amount to use till Wimco Nagar. Likewise, commuters can acquire monthly passes for the same amount as it is currently Rs 2500 and utilize it even till the newly extended line to Wimco Nagar.
Passengers can also enjoy a 50% discount on their daily tickets if they travel on Sundays and public holidays. It must be noted that the CMRL extension line from Washermanpet to Wimco Nagar was recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the inauguration has marked the completion of phase-1 of the CMRL that extends to 54.15 kilometers. The first phase has two different lines - Airport to Wimco Nagar and St. Thomas Mount to Dr. Puratachi Thalaivar MGR Central Metro.
The work for phase- 2 of CMRL is underway and will cover a distance of 118.9 kilometers. Earlier, the fares of Chennai Metro were among the highest in the country than Bengaluru and the fares were even higher than the Airport line of Delhi Metro. The sumptuous fares had invited staunch flak from the residents of the city who have been demanding the government to reduce the fare and to make the metro rail a resident-friendly. Along with the residents, the opposition parties and activists had also been demanding to reduce the fare. After years of demand, the Chief Minister has now reduced the maximum fare, ahead of the assembly polls.