Track set for ECR-OMR link roads - The New Indian Express

Track set for ECR-OMR link roads

Published: 25th July 2012 08:15 AM

Last Updated: 25th July 2012 08:15 AM

The arterial roads along Adyar, Besant Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, East Coast Road, Velachery and the IT Corridor in the southeastern parts of Chennai are prone to massive traffic jams during the rush hours.

With few connecting or parallel roads, motorists are forced to stay on these congested roads and move slowly with the traffic. But all this could soon be a thing of the past.

The State Highways Department is in the process of preparing Detailed Project Reports on a number of steps to reduce congestion in the zone.  The main projects in the plan will be two roads connecting OMR with ECR.

Presently, there are only two roads connecting the two massive thoroughfares – the busy Kalaignar Karunanidhi Salai at Sozhinganallur and the Kelambakkam – Kovalam Road.

The two new link roads are meant to distribute the traffic between these busy stretches. One road is expected to link Palavakkam with OMR, while the other is planned at Neelangarai. These two roads, along with proposed flyovers and road widening projects across Velachery and Thiruvanmiyur, are expected to enable smooth flow of traffic. Thanks to the Buckingham Canal that runs between ECR and OMR, there are few connecting roads. The few bridges across the canal are too small and can’t support even two-wheeler traffic.

This has meant that a motorist travelling from Kottivakkam or Neelangarai would now have to go all the way to either to Thiruvanmiyur or Sozhinganallur and then turn back around to reach Thoraipakkam.

The new bridges are aimed at cutting right across the divide and giving more direct access between the two regions. Naturally, both the link roads will have bridges across the Buckingham Canal, which will add to the second bridge the Highways Department is already building along the Kalaignar Salai.

The projects were announced in the Assembly by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Highways Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said his department has had to make important changes in procedure to ensure the projects announced by Jayalalithaa saw completion.“The CM has given me a mandate to ensure these projects don’t get stalled. Many projects taken up in the past have been stopped midway because of hitches with land acquisition. My department is now going to these issues. We are not going to call for any tenders till land acquisition is complete. So, once we start the project, we will be able to complete in a matter of months,” said Palaniswamy. He noted that a number of projects commissioned over the past five years were stuck as many people affected by the land acquisition for these projects had moved courts.

With a vast majority of these projects, the tenders have been handed out and both the government and its contractors are stuck, unable to carry on with work.

The Minister and senior officials of the Highways Department refused to comment on the projected cost of the projects, as a number of factors were fluid.

“The alignment is not yet settled upon. Also, we have to take into account the costs on the schedule or rates, not to mention the fact that land acquisition has become more expensive overall since the government raised the guideline values for properties across the State. We will take these factors into consideration before coming out with the final projected cost,” said a senior Highways Department official.

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