TN government takes over four-laning of major highways amid NHAI overload

Move aims at easing the pressure on NHAI; it is for the first time TN’s NH wing is undertaking such massive projects

CHENNAI: With the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) being burdened with several projects, the four-laning work of three major highways in the state has been transferred to the state government’s national highways wing. It is for the first time that the state government’s NH wing is set to undertake such massive projects that involve several crores of rupees.

The three four-laning projects are to be taken up on Thoothukudi-Kanniyakumari NH, Ramanathapuram-Rameswaram-Dhanushkodi route, and Coimbatore-Sathyamangalam route with two-lane extension from Sathyamangalam to Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border. Additionally, several bypass projects, too, have been handed over to the state government’s NH wing.

According to official sources, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has already approved the widening of 120-km East Coast Road from Thoothukudi to Kanniyakumari via Tiruchendur, with Rs 392.33 crore allocated for land acquisition. “The four-laning of ECR from Mamallapuram to Nagapattinam is being carried out by the NHAI. However, the 120-km stretch from Thoothukudi to Kanniyakumari was handed over to the state government last year for widening,” an official from the highways department said.

Similarly, the widening of Ramanathapuram-Rameswaram-Dhanushkodi NH from two lanes to four lanes will be taken up by the state national highways wing. Land acquisition is also under way for the widening of Coimbatore-Sathyamangalam-TN/ Karnataka border road, with Rs 639.18 crore already been allocated for the project. “A detailed project report is being prepared. Once approved by the centre, construction work will begin,” the official added.

Additionally, the state government will undertake the formation of bypass roads for Vellore, Vettavalam and Thiruvaiyaru on behalf of the NHAI with a total of Rs 559.17 crore sanctioned for these projects.

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The New Indian Express