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Velachery Railway Station
|• Body||Chennai Corporation|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Chennai South|
|Legislative Assembly constituency||Velachery|
Velachery (Tamil: வேளச்சேரி) is a residential area in South Chennai, a metropolitan city in Tamil Nadu, India. The growth of Velachery during the last decade can be cited due to the growth of the IT sector in south Chennai. It acts as an important hub connecting the rapidly growing business class Information Technology corridor popularly called OMR; the more mature and well connected GST road and the Central Business Districts of the city, which has more relevance to the history of Chennai. Velachery as a whole draws a perfect balance between Old and New Chennai and is a phenomenon in terms of growth.
The rapid growth of Velachery as a commercial and residential hub, could be attributed to its geographical advantage in terms of the connectivity to other parts of the city:
- The Velachery main road on the south, connects the fastest growing suburbs of south Chennai and Mount Road (Anna Salai) at Guindy via Velachery. A section of this road connects Guindy and Velachery and is home to some of the oldest localities.
- The 100 ft bypass road connects Guindy on the north west.
- The Taramani link road on the north east connects Velachery with Rajiv Gandhi Salai (OMR).
- The Jawaharlal Nehru Salai also called the 100 ft road or Inner Ring Road, Chennai passes along the MRTS line and connects near the airport the GST road, an arterial road in Chennai.
- The Taramani Link Road in Velachery also connects to MGR Salai, an arterial road that connects to OMR
- Velachery comes under the Taluk of Mambalam-Guindy in Chennai District. In recent
Mambalam-Guindy Taluk has been divided Velachery got their own Taluk named as Velachery Taluk. A report by Cushman & Wakefield has projected this locality to be one among the Main Street retail hubs in the city. Dandeeswarar Temple is the oldest temple in the locality.
Velachery has it origin in the Tamil words வேள்(Vel) which means King or Leader and சேரி(Cheri) which means a place where people live together. Other arguments say that it is actually 'Vellacheri' - 'Vellam' means water and 'Cheri' means small living community, thus indicating that Velachery was once a large water body where water was stored.
Velachery was a quiet locality with swathes of farm land till the 1990s. Since then it became one of the prime residential neighbourhoods of Chennai. The American Advent Mission School has been functioning since the 1950s. The transformation of Velachery happened with the widening of Bypass Road in 2005 to a six-laned road, which gave ample opportunities for builders to commercially exploit the place.
Velachery is surrounded by IIT Madras in the north-east, Taramani in the east, Adambakkam in the northwest and Pallikaranai Marshland in the south; other neighboring areas include Thiruvanmiyur, Guindy, Adyar, Perungudi, Tharamani and Madippakkam. Most of the neighborhood is residential.
Location in context
||Alandur||Guindy||Guindy National Park|
Velachery mostly has areas of hard rock. Many areas of Velachery are below sea level and originally these areas were lakes. It is said that Velachery had a marshland that was once a natural bird sanctuary. Due to encroachment and rapid real estate development, the sanctuary has disappeared. There is a big marshland in Pallikaranai, south of Velachery.
The nearest airport to Velachery is the Chennai International Airport near Meenambakkam which is at a distance of ~8–10.5 km. The shortest way to reach the airport is by using the Inner Ring Road (IRR) which is less traffic prone. The other way is to go via Guindy using the GST-Anna Salai(Mount Road) route which is more traffic prone and it is the longest route.There are direct volvo buses between Airport and Velachery operated by MTC. Autos (Indian Taxi) and Taxicab ply between Airport and Velachery at a nominal cost of ₹ 200-250 (US$4–5). MTC buses also ply on this route but one has to break the journey and change buses.
Velachery is well connected to rest of the city by bus services operated by MTC. Vijayanagar Bus Terminus is the major and biggest bus stand in the Velachery locality from where buses fly to various parts of the city. There are three arterial roads: Velachery Main Road, Taramani Link Road, and Velachery Bypass Road. The Vijayanagar junction is one of the most important junctions in the city.
Station Code: VLCY-- Velachery is well connected by broad gauge rail (Indian gauge) to the rest of the city through the Velachery MRTS Railway Station. The daily EMU services are operated by the Indian Railways. The second phase of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) between Tirumailai and Velachery was formally inaugurated by Dr.Karunanidhi(former CM of Tamil Nadu)in the presence of R.Velu(former Union Minister of State for Railways)and this became operational from 15th day of November 2007.
The project should have been completed two years before the opening date, but some technical snag, delayed the project. The Indian railways's original plan was to have an elevated track from Tirumailai(Mylapore) to Taramani and surface line from Taramani to Velachery. But as the soil was soft in and around Taramani and Perungudi, the railways had to go for the elevated track right up to Velachery, which took two more years for the project to complete. The MRTS extension work from Velachery to St. Thomas mount is expected to be completed by 2013. The extension work is going at snail's pace near St. Thomas Mount due to land acquisition and redistribution issues.
There are EMU services from Chennai Beach to Velachery at a minimum interval of 10 minutes and a maximum of 40 minutes. The first service starts at 0500 hrs and the last service is at 2300 hrs during week-days 
Tamil Nadu Government has proposed a plan for Monorail connecting Velachery with Vandalur, via Pallikaranai, Medavakkam, Tambaram, making the connectivity to the city with the suburban developing areas.
One of the major reasons for Velachery to become a residential attraction is the infrastructure. Even though most of the regions in Velachery are flood prone, major investments have gone in to improve the storm water drain network in the locality. The corporation has also invested in rail and road connectivity to Velachery from the central business districts of Chennai. Some major infrastructure projects which are being executed by the Chennai Corporation in Velachery are,
1. MRTS extension connecting Velachery with St. Thomas Mount.
The extension of the MRTS from Velachery to St. Thomas Mount is a long pending project which faced severe hardships since the last 0.5 km stretch of land is to be acquired from densely populated residential localities of St. Thomas Mount. This project is likely to be completed soon, as the link is crucial to realize the maximum usage of the MRTS.
2. Construction of storm water drain connecting Velachery with South Buckingham canal.
3. Construction of twin flyovers at the busy Vijayanagar junction in Velachery.
The busy Vijayanagar junction in Velachery is to dot with twin multilevel flyovers that connects three arterial roads namely Velachery-Tambaram main road, 100 feet bypass road and Taramani link road. These flyovers would bring much relief to the traffic choked Vijayanagar junction.
4. Beautification of Velachery lake.
A detailed project report was prepared to make Velachery lake fit for boating and to make it a tourist attraction. The corporation has initiated a major development plan for Velachery lake since it is one of the very few surviving water bodies in the city. The lake also serves as a major ground water recharge for the adjoining localities.
SDAT Aquatic Complex
The Velachery Aquatic Complex is a swimming pool complex with spectator facilities in Chennai, India.
It was built by Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) for serving as one of the venues of the 1995 South Asian Games. Facilities available at the complex include one racing pool (50 × 25 m), one diving pool (18 × 25 m), one warm-up pool (20 × 25 m), VIP lobby and lounge, change rooms, shower cubicles, physiotherapy room, first aid, CCTV, control room, electronic score board, gym, commentator box and seating for 4,000 spectators.
The pool is open to the public for membership and offers fee concessions for swimming competition medal winners
Infrastructure and environmental concerns
A major concern is that the recent rapid developments has also resulted in a few drawbacks, such as water scarcity, congestion of roads and the damage to the marshland. It is feared that in a few years unless something substantial is done, the marshlands would all be converted into residential and commercial properties.
Every November, Velachery is flooded by cyclonic rains. The major areas that are usually flooded are the low-lying areas around the Velachery Lake. A flood water drainage canal was constructed along the Velachery 100-feet (30 m) road. Due to encroachments, some part of the canal in the Velachery-Tambaram high road is not constructed completely. Generally it is felt that, after the canal was built; to a major extent, the flooding problem in many areas along the 100-feet road has decreased substantially. All the residential colonies that are lying south of Taramani link road got submerged in rain water during the floods in 2008 which was of moderate intensity. A major storm water drain project running all through the Taramani link road from Vijayanagar bus stand in Velachery connecting South Buckingham canal is in progress. This project which is funded by the World Bank, is expected to bring much relief to the residents of flood prone Velachery.
There are also two big open to air dumping grounds. These spoil the underground water and are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other flies and the frequent burning of the waste also creates lot of pollution problems to the people especially those traveling past it. It is a favorite shooting location among film makers and has been filmed in as far as 3 movies.
Now that Velachery has become a separate assembly constituency the woes of its residents are expected to be mitigated at a faster pace.
Several IT/ITES companies have set up their offices in Velachery. Some major ones include Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), ZOHO Corp, AllSec Technologies. Laptopstore, TeleData and Sutherland Global Services. IT & working-class people prefer to settle in Velachery as more IT parks emerge on the Old Mahabalipuram road and its proximity to the Central Business Districts of Chennai. This part of Chennai was considered to be socio-economically backwards a decade ago, but the area has changed rapidly after a string of key residential projects. The standard of living in and around Velachery has increased considerably.
Phoenix Market City was opened on January 2013 at Velachery is one of India's Biggest shopping Malls  Further, The Grand Mall was also opened in 2013 near the Vijayanagar Bus Terminus.
- Gurunanak College on Velachery main road.
- Jerusalem College of Engineering, Chennai is situated at the Velachery - Tambaram main road, Narayanapuram, Pallikaranai. The College is 3 km from Velachery railway station.
- Balaji Dental College & Hospital - Located adjacent to Jerusalem College of Engineering.
Notable schools in and around Velachery:
- Guru Nanak Matriculation Higher Secondary School
- SIVASAKTHI Matriculation SChool
- BETHEL Mat. Hr. Sec. School
- DAV MAT. HR. SEC. SCHOOL
- LAKSHMI VIDYALAYA
- AGM matriculation higher secondary school
- "Chennai retail report" (PDF). Cushman & Wakefield. Retrieved 3rd Quarter 2011. Check date values in:
- Srikanth, R. (28 January 2014). "A village's journey to a place on Chennai's map". The Hindu. Chennai: The Hindu. Retrieved 28 Jan 2014.
- "Chennai Beach - Velachery Train timings" (PDF). The Hindu.
- "New hotels beckon the business class". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
- "The Westin, Chennai, Velachery". The Starwoods hotels and resorts. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- "The ITC Grand Chola, Chennai". The ITC Grand Chola. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- "The Park Hyatt, Chennai". The Park Hyatt. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- "Velachery Emerges As a Key Locality In South Chennai". Indian Real Estate Market. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- "Last mile MRTS link likely to redefine train travel in city". Magic Bricks. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
- "Taramani link road to turn six-lane, work already on". The Times of India. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- "Velachery junction to get 2 flyovers". The Times of India. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- "Work on twin flyovers in Velachery to begin soon". The Times of India. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
- "Velachery lake to be developed into tourist spot". The Hindu. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
- "Velachery Lake in for major facelift, water hyacinths cleared". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
- "Hope dawns for Velachery Lake". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Debut-making Velachery witnesses three-cornered contest". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
- "Velachery emerges as a key locality in South Chennai". Magic Bricks. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- "Phoenix Market City In Chennai". Chennai. The Hindu. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Velachery.|
- http://themetroconnect.com Neighbourhood paper Velachery