contactDiary Integrated City Industrial Cluster


Better rail network, low rent make Chengalpet city's new suburb

Daniel George


Upcoming Third Terminal at Tambaram to Increase Frequency of Trains

Five days a week, L R Jagadeeshan takes a train from Chengalpet to Beach from where he heads to a bank where he works.

Every day, Jagadeeshan covers 130km, spending almost three hours in commuting, but the distance doesn't deter him from living far away from Chennai.

Less crowded neighbourhoods, bigger houses at lower rent and availability of trains when needed are fast making Chengalpet a feeder town to Chennai, with several professionals travelling to Chennai from there for work.

“The rent in Chengalpet is lower and the cost of living lesser when compared to Chennai. The quality of life is better here and connectivity is no more a problem,“ said Jagadeeshan, who grew up in Chennai.

The third terminal that's coming up in Tambaram is expected to enhance the connectivity to Chengalpet, increasing the frequency of trains.Presently, 78 trains run between Chennai and Chengalpet.

The town's population, which was 62,579 according to the 2011 Census, is growing at a fast pace say sources in the Chengalpet municipality . And Jagadeeshan, living in Chengalpet for 10 years now, corroborated it.

He said much has changed in the last decade especially the demand for housing that has gone up after factories and offices sprang up. “At least a dozen apartment complexes are being built presently, “ he said.

After the inauguration of Mahindra World City in 2002, IT and auto majors set shop in Chengalpet. And over the years the business brought in new people who moved to nearby houses. D Srinivasan, a real estate agent, said: "Brokers expect at least 3,000 families to shift here soon." S. Prakash, who too travels to Chennai, said Chengalpet was a better place to live.

“I pay Rs 7,000 for a two-bedroom house. My children go to a school in Tambaram. There is no way I can afford to run a family in Chennai with my salary . The quality of air and water is way better in Chengalpet than in Chennai,“ he said. V Thambidurai, a long time Chengalpet resident, said the change was visible.

“Locals are learning Hindi as many of their tenants are from the northern states. We never saw women dressed in jeans, but now they are everywhere, driving cars and riding scooters,“ he said.
Besides real estate, other businesses too have picked up. Heavy industrial activity and hordes of employees have given a fillip to food joints.

“Earlier, eateries would serve local food, but now fast food joints dishing out north Indian food have come up to serve the migrant population,“ said Ghouse Basha, a local hotelier.

Better rail connectivity at Chengalpet, Mahindra World city, Chennai

Source: The Times of India

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