CHENNAI: Can work on the Rs 495 crore Phase II extension of MassRapid Transit System (MRTS) between Velachery and St Thomas Mount be completed before December 2016?
While the project has hit a roadblock again, this time over the compensation issue, officials have set a deadline of December 2016 to get the project ready by then.
But this looks highly improbable as there are as many as 18 cases being filed in Madras High Court to fix the compensation under the new Land Acquisition Act.
The Housing and Urban Development Department had engaged a counsel only a few months ago to clear the cases.
The project has been pending over acquisition of 500 metres of land. And, there was much hope last year, immediately after the Madras High Court Madras High Court cleared the way for the Phase II extension, after dismissing the petitions challenging the acquisition of land and deviation in the project.
But then, there has not been enough progress with the beneficiaries knocking on the doors of the court to get compensation as per the New Land Acquisition Act.
It is learnt that a total of 28 beneficiaries have been identified and a CMDA official stated that the work would resume after the beneficiaries, who had approached the High Court against the acquisition of 500 metres of land, are compensated. The earlier compensation was based on the old Land Acquisition Act and now the compensation is being reviewed under the new Act which replaced the 119-year-old obsolete legislation.
The proposed alignment and extension of Phase II took place in the year 2008 and till now, 3.7 km of the 5-km stretch of MRTS line has been completed.
The project envisages development of the elevated MRTS on single pillars along the median of the Inner Ring Road (IRR) from MBL Road to St Thomas Mount Road for a distance of about five km. The State Government is sharing 33 per cent of cost, while 67 per cent is shared by Union Government. The project envisages construction of two intermediate stations — Puzhuthivakkam and Adambakkam.