Saturday, October 13, 2012
It is probably Chennai's most global project. No, I'm not talking about the building in the background, but the work that's going on in front of it. The Chennai Metro currently has workers from six nations working on the project at various locations around the city. Apart from Indians (of course!), there are Nepalese, Chinese, Russians, South Africans and Germans who are involved in various aspects of building the metro lines. If we also consider the rolling stock being manufactured at Alstom's factory at Sao Paulo, Brazil, rails from France, fastenings from the UK (and China), communication systems from Singapore and signalling systems from Japan, that's quite a lot of languages to be talking in.
Then there are the complexities of Indian languages. Tamizh, Hindi, Oriya, Telugu... those are ones I've heard most often. Despite all the potential for communication breakdowns, the project seems to be moving along smoothly and appears to be on track for a December 2013 launch.
For all that, the technicians don't appear to be stressed about the schedules at all. Seeing them nice and relaxed, as they go about messing with the theodolites and stuff, you can't help wonder if they could actually speed it up a bit and give us the metro rail earlier!