CHENNAI: The State Highways department is likely to commence work on a High Level Bridge across the ecologically sensitive Pulicat lake from next month.The decade-old proposal, intended to provide permanent and safe commute for about 50,000 people living in Pasiyavaram Island in Pulicat lake, got Coastal Zone Regulation (CRZ) clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) on December 27. The ministry asked the Thiruvallur divisional engineer of State Highways department to expedite the project.
Specific conditions listed in the clearance asks the Highways department, to limit the construction period such that prolonged effect on marine community can be minimised. The ministry mandated submission of a time bound road map for completion of the bridge to Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNCZMA) within three months of the receipt of the clearance.
Highways department officials told Express the process of obtaining mandatory Consent to Establish (CTO) from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has already been initiated, while preparatory work to commence the construction work, is being undertaken.”We want to complete the project before the next monsoon,” a senior official said.
The ministry cautioned project proponent against causing any disturbances to the characteristics of the coastal area and directed it to take utmost care while transferring and storage of construction material to project site. Also, temporary structures set-up shall be removed and area around the site restored to its near original state.
Pasiyavaram islanders face lot of difficulties during rainy season and high tide. They use boats or wade through water while commuting. The main occupation for them is fishing and people have to go to Ponneri town and Pulicat village for their errands. The total length of the bridge will be 432 m and total lane width will be 8.5 m.
432 m will be the length of the bridge. Based on a study conducted by National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), a linear waterway of 407.76 m is also proposed. The total cost of the project will be `18.2 cr