The final hurdle for commissioning the Rs 1,655-crore road project connecting Chennai port and Maduravayol has been cleared with the Union Environment Ministry giving the green signal on Friday.

Mr G. K. Vasan, Union Minister for Shipping, said: “Now that all the hurdles have been cleared, I urge the State Government and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to speed up the execution of this important project,” he said at a function.

In June 2007, the Tamil Nadu Government gave its ‘in principle' approval to the NHAI for the elevated expressway. The project cost then was put at Rs 1,468 crore. In January 2009, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, laid the foundation stone for the project but it was put on hold for want of environment clearance.

India's longest four-way elevated expressway from the Chennai port to Maduravoyal is 19-km. It will begin near the War Memorial gate and run along the banks of the Cooum up to Koyambedu (14.5 km) and along NH-4 up to Maduravoyal. This is an important project for the Chennai port to enable quick evacuation of containers.

As part of its contribution to the project, Chennai Port Trust on Saturday handed over a cheque for Rs 50 crore to the NHAI. Mr Vasan handed over the cheque to Mr M.R. Kamble, Executive Director, NHAI, at a function. The Shipping Ministry has given its approval for Chennai Port Trust to incur up to Rs 155 crore towards land acquisition and for rehabilitation and resettlement, of which, Rs 50 crore has been handed over.

Mr Vasan also commissioned the Rs 170 crore capital dredging project at Ennore port.

(This article was published on February 27, 2011)
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