Light at end of Port-Maduravoyal expressway

After six-year row over pillar alignment, project to be revived; govt wants to complete within allotted funds C1,800 cr

Published: 10th December 2016 01:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th December 2016 03:47 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The long-pending disagreement over the Maduravoyal-Chennai Port elevated corridor is finally showing signs of resolution, with the State and the Centre discussing ways to revive the `1,800 crore project that has been stalled for over six years.
Port sources said the hurdle over alignment of pillars is being cleared, while other sources added suggestions in this regard have been communicated to the Centre. A fresh alignment has been worked out, and the State is likely to give green light to the project, sources added.

The project was frozen in 2011 after the new State government raised objections to the alignment. As the Centre and State refused to relent, the contracted construction firm backed off and filed a petition seeking compensation for losses. It was almost given up except for the periodical movement of insignificant documents. But the interest in the project picked up in recently, with the Centre urging the State to work out a solution.

Now that there is a concrete development, sources said work is set to start soon as the Centre is keen to complete it in the next two years. There are many options that are being considered, and according to sources in included seeking the old contractor firm’s return. However, a final decision has not been taken, as it also depends on the technicalities in awarding tenders and contracts and the ability of the firm to take up the massive project.

Sources indicated that it is likely that the fresh alignment may cut down the length of the elevated corridor. However, officials refused to reveal the details about the new alignment, adding that the attempt was to complete the project in the originally proposed  Rs 1,800 crore. This may not be easy, considering that six years have gone by and also because the State government has allotted only six km of land so far.
The work on the corridor was stalled after the Water Resources Department directed NHAI to stop work, stating that that pile caps constructed for the project obstructed the free flow of water in the Cooum River.

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