NHAI On The Move: Work On Long Pending Chennai Port–Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway To Finally Get Underway 

The incomplete elevated corridor (Swarajya File Photo)

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will finally resume work on the stalled Chennai Port-Maduravoyal elevated expressway, Newstoday has reported.

The project’s cosy has been revised to Rs 2,400 crore from the earlier estimate of Rs 1,815 crore. It doesn’t include the additional land acquisition (LA) and relief and rehabilitation (R&R) costs.

The Maduravoyal-Port expressway project was conceptualised and launched in September 2010 by the DMK Government under late CM Karunanidhi, but it was arbitrarily halted in 2011 by the Jayalalithaa government ostensibly on the grounds that the construction of pillars on the Cooum river would have an adverse impact on the environment and would cause flooding during monsoon.

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The originally planned length of the project now stalled for the last five years was 18.3 km. As per the new alignment, the total length of the project is 20.3 km.

The executing agency for the project, NHAI is gearing to resume work on the 19 km expressway soon and the already completed pillars would be put into use after inspecting their structural strength and safety.

As per the report, twin pillars constructed in Chetpet on a span of about 5 km along Koyambedu, Cooum River banks would be used.

After the passing away of Jayalalithaa, NHAI and the state government pushed ahead with efforts to revive the project and initiated steps towards a new revised detailed project report (DPR) for the elevated expressway. MoS for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan played an active role in working with NHAI and state officials to remove the bottlenecks.

“There is no significant change in the alignment of the road. We are sticking to the original plan. Land acquisition for the project has been initiated and authorities are in the process of floating a new tender for the revised plan”, NHAI officials were quoted as saying.

In another development signalling the imminent revival of the project, two Central government arms - Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) and Indian Navy - have agreed to enter into a barter deal for land exchange, Hindu Business Line reported.

Under the agreement, Indian Navy will provide the port with 1.09 lakh square feet of land in exchange for an equivalent area closer to the port’s boundary near INS Adyar.

In-principle, approval from the Shipping Ministry has been obtained based on a no-objection certification given by the Indian Navy in Chennai. The Indian Navy is expected to take approval from the Defence Ministry.

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