TN rejects NHAI’s claim, says secy met chief in Delhi

Chief secy says govt told highways ministry that NOC for transfer of Mamallapuram-Pondy section delayed as asset was mortgaged 

Published: 22nd April 2022 05:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd April 2022 05:31 AM   |  A+A-

NH national highway, NHAI

Image used for representational purposes only. (Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The State government has expressed its ‘surprise’ over a letter written by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) chairperson alleging that there was no response from it on transferring the Mamallapuram-Puducherry section of ECR to the highway authority for four-lane works.

In his letter to the State government on April 8, NHAI Chairperson Alka Upadhyaya had said as there was no response from the State government, the highway authority is construing that the government is not inclined to hand over ECR to NHAI. He also threatened to scrap the project in the letter. Replying to this, Chief Secretary Irai Anbu, in a letter dated April 20 to Upadhyaya, said the secretary to the state highways had met the NHAI chairperson in New Delhi on March 31 and had apprised him of action taken by the State government. 

“At the time, the secretary had also assured the chairperson that NOC (No Objection Certificate) would be issued in 10 days. He has also been informing the Regional Officer NHAI, Chennai, on the developments,” said Irai Anbu.

Earlier on March 7, the chief secretary wrote to the secretary of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and told him the State government was working out a mechanism to free and hand over the assets of ECR, mortgaged in banks.

“I have separately requested him to look into the issue of compensating Tamil Nadu Road Development Company,” Anbu said. On January 13, secretary of the State highways wrote a letter to regional officer, NHAI, Chennai, informing him that NOC for ECR was under consideration and that it may take some more time to get it due to complications involved, recalled Anbu.

Recording his ‘surprise’, Irai Anbu said the G.O. granting NOC for handing over the ECR to NHAI was issued on April 11. “I hope widening work on the portion that was handed over is taken up quickly,” he added.


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