CHENNAI: After a break of nearly six years, six-laning of the 22-km Padi-Thiruninravur stretch of the Chennai-Tirupati Highway (CTH) is set to recommence soon. The state highways department recently released Rs 152 crore to acquire land, officials said. Besides, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) commenced civil work to turn the 17-km Thiruninravur-Tiruvallur stretch of CTH into a four-lane road at a cost of Rs 340 crore.
To facilitate the smooth passage of vehicles to Tiruttani and Tirupati, in 2007, the State government proposed to upgrade the Chennai-Tiruttani-Renigunta SH to a six-lane road. NHAI took up widening the road from Alamelurangapuram to Thiruvanindravur and completed the work on 58 km till Tiruvallur. Work on the remaining 17 km could not be completed due to land-acquisition issues.
Similarly, the State highways department, which planned to convert the 22-km section of CTH from the Padi-Korattur junction to Thiruvanindravur into a six-lane stretch, could only widen the road into a four-lane stretch. Traders from Mannurpet, Padi, Ambattur, and a few other areas resisted the project and held protests. Cases were filed against land acquisition for the project.
In the meantime, differences arose between a few government agencies in transferring land to the highways department, and the project was abandoned in 2010-11. But the number of vehicles using the road kept rising, and exceeded 1 lakh in 2013. In February 2013, the State allotted `168 crore to finish the pending work. After multiple surveys, the work, which was to begin in 2014, got delayed due to issues in locating boundaries for land parcels.
The CTH witnesses traffic congestion during peak hours from Ambattur Estate junction to Padi flyover as the four-lane NH gets narrowed to a two-lane stretch near the Ambattur railway station, say residents.
A highways official said, “The issues in land acquisition are being settled and `152 crore has been allotted. The work will begin soon as per the due procedure.”
As part of the widening, it was proposed to convert the two-lane road over bridge (ROB) into a six-lane stretch near the Ambattur railway station. “To build the six-lane ROB, `13 crore has been allotted for land acquisition. A proposal has been sent to the railways for approval,” added the official.
S Rangathan, a resident of Ambattur, said, “Widening of the NH from Padi to Tiruvallur has been delayed for more than 10 years. It should be completed at the earliest. If the stretch from Thiruninravur to Tiruvallur is widened, vehicles can bypass Tiruvallur town.”
An NHAI official said, “Levelling of the NH has begun in a few places. The four-lane road will be ready in 18 months.”