CHENNAI: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) has set an 18-month deadline for completion of the widening of Chennai-Bengaluru Highways, according to official sources. It is scheduled to be completed by May 2021.
Of the 326 km Chennai-Bengaluru Bypass Road (National Highway 48), the 61-km stretch between Sriperumbudur and Walajah Road has four lanes and the Koyambedu-Sriperumbudur Road and Walajah-Bengaluru Road have six lanes.
“Earlier, the work for six lanes from Maduravoyal to Walajapet that was granted in June 2012 was cancelled in July 2016 due to concessionaire’s fault. Now, the work from Sriperambudur to Walajapet is awarded in two parts and is scheduled to be completed by May 2021,” said the concerned Highways official.
He said that development of the six-lane corridor between Maduravoyal and Sriperambudur is envisaged as a part of Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway, for which a Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been prepared.
According to official records, about 70,000 vehicles run along the NH-48 between Maduravoyal and Sriperumbudur per day. So, evidently, during peak hours, vehicles choke on this road. “Near Sriperambudur, lorry traffic is high and they occupy most of the narrow road. It is both dangerous and time consuming to travel on this road at any time of the day. Adding to our woes is the dust because of the movement of heavy vehicles on this road,” said Sana Pallavi, a regular commuter.
R Mohan, another commuter said, “Roads have become unusable due to the movement of lorries. Whenever we ask the authorities, they say work will be done after six lanes are complete and we have been waiting since 2012.”
According to the officials of the Highways department, most of the land acquisition process has been completed. DPR has been initiated at Thandalam between Maduravoyal and Sriperambudur, and work has begun near Sandaivellore located between Maduravoyal and Sriperambudur. Once the six-laning is completed, the travel time from Chennai to Bengaluru and vice versa is expected to reduce by 90 minutes. It currently takes 6.5 hours.