The project, conceived in March 2008 was stalled in 2011 for want of environment clearance and issues related to alignment
The stalled 19-km Chennai Port-Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway Corridor for which the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation way back in 2009 for ₹1,468 crore will go through yet another design change. L&T has been asked to give a new design to build a two-layer corridor.
The project was conceived in March 2008 for the speedy movement of cargo to and from the port. It started with a bang during the DMK regime but was stalled for want of environment clearance and issues related to alignment when the AIADMK returned to power in 2011.
“L&T will give a new design for the project within a month,” said Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MMSE. “A design was presented to me on the project, but I rejected it. I have suggested that they take a good consultant and make it a two-layered flyover,” he said on Tuesday evening reviewing various National Highway projects in Tamil Nadu.
“At the ground level, there will be a road; above it, there will be a flyover and another above that. The suggested change is because the traffic density is very high,” he said.
“I had a discussion with them (consultants) today. We will clear it. We will find all solutions as far as traffic jams and pollution is concerned. The flyover is very important for the Chennai port also. Traffic for the port will directly go in the flyover and the project will reduce the traffic congestion in Chennai,” he said.
The elevated corridor begins at Chennai Port Gate No. 10 and travels along the bank of the Cooum River till it reaches Koyambedu and along the median of NH4 thereon till it reaches Maduravoyal.
The project got the environment clearance in February 2011, and during the same month, the port handed over a cheque for ₹50 crore to the NHAI as part of its contribution to the project. However, the State government asked the contractor to stop work in 2012 due to realignment issues. When initial objections were raised by the State government, NHAI then suggested several alternatives, but all were rejected.
In 2018, the NHAI had terminated the agreement with the contractor with only 20 per cent of the 19-km road completed.
In April 2019, a team of technical experts from the Tamil Nadu government, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), and the Chennai Port Trust — planned to study issues related to re-alignment and changes, if any, on the stalled ₹1,815-crore elevated road project from Chennai Port to Maduravoyal.
Last year, the State government had suggested to NHAI the possibility of replacing two-piers with one on a stretch of nearly 2 km on the Cooum river near Spur Tank Road in Chetpet. It also wanted a re-alignment in structure without disturbing Defence quarters near Napier Bridge, sources said.
Source : The Hindu Businessline