CHENNAI: Commuters taking the available three circuitous highways between Salem and Chennai will soon find the journey smooth, saving time and fuel as the Centre has given its nod to construct a green express way corridor to connect both cities, according to Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways, Shipping and Water Resources.
Addressing a joint press conference with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami here on Sunday, Gadkari said, “The access-controlled green expressway corridor between Salem and Chennai along the stretch of 274 km will come up at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore. The process for the green expressway is put on fast track. Tenders will be floated in two months.”
When green expressway comes into being, the travel time between Salem and Chennai will be reduced to three hours from the current six hours. Earlier, Palaniswami submitted a memorandum regarding the project to the Union Minister during a review meeting seeking sanction for it.
Palaniswami noted that travel on the existing three routes connecting Salem to Chennai witnesses abnormal delay predominantly due to the increasing traffic volume and the green express corridor via Tiruvannamalai will ease the traffic and reduce travel time.
Gadkari informed that preliminary works were on for the Chennai-Bengaluru expressway for a stretch of 350 km at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore, for which the land acquisition in Karnataka was completed. Once the land acquisition was completed in Tamil Nadu, the project would be started.
According to Gadkari, projects worth Rs 43,000 crore were sanctioned for TN, including six bypass roads. The works for these projects were expected to be started soon.
Union Minister for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan informed that shipping facility to Puducherry and Karaikal from Chennai would be launched soon, benefiting the central region of TN. He said a test voyage of a cargo ship with a capacity to carry 100 containers was done on Saturday successfully. Five lakh tonnes of cargo could be ferried in the ship. It would soon be launched, he said.
‘In the process of implementing Cauvery verdict’
Chennai: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday informed that the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict on the Cauvery water dispute was in the process. “We are in the process. We are discussing it,” he replied, when questioned by reporters on the steps taken to form the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) as mandated by the SC. “We respect the decision of the SC. At the same time, TN and Karnataka are like both eyes to the Centre. We have to protect the interests of both. We are keenly interested in find out a way,” he added. Gadkari read out a statement in Tamil explaining Centre’s position on implementation of the verdict. However, the minister shifted attention to the ambitious Godavari-Cauvery Link Scheme. He said it would bring TN 150 tmc water. He said discussions were held on the project with CM Palaniswami and a meeting with the CMs concerned would be held. “The detailed project report is in the process. We will hold a meeting of the CMs concerned to find a way out. Low interest loans will be arranged. We treat the project as a national project,” Gadkari said.