National

Govt worries over slow progress in TN highway projects

Balaji R. Chennai | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 28, 2015

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The Union Highways and Shipping Ministry has expressed concern over the slow progress of ongoing highway projects in Tamil Nadu (TN).

According to an official press release, following a review of the Ministry’s projects in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, P Radhakrishnan has expressed concern on the progress of work estimated at about ₹ 7,000 crore covering about 1,000 km in Tamil Nadu.

He hoped that the Governments in Tamil Nadu and Kerala will support early completion of these projects.

According to the release the Minister said the Centre is also willing to declare the entire 700-km stretch of the East Coast Road as a National Highway if the Tamil Nadu Government submits the proposal; the National Highways Authority and the State Government should explore options of an out of court settlement to get the elevated road project for Chennai Port going; and the State has to sign the State Support Agreement to enable public-private partnership projects to take off. The agreement is needed for concessionaires to access funds from agencies.

According to the release, concessionaires, who attended the review, were concerned over delays in clearances for drawing construction material such as earth, sand and aggregates. The NHAI officials drew the Minister’s attention to delay in getting go-ahead from the State Public Works Department and Water Resources Organisation for laying highways across or along water bodies in Tirupati – Tiruttani – Chennai road, the Palar River area in Krishnagiri – Wallajahpet section and approval of alignment for Tiruchi Bypass in Tiruchi – Karur section.

The Minister also said that Centre is willing to declare the entire East Coast Road (ECR), connecting Chennai and Kanniyakumari, as a National Highway and upgrade it if the Tamil Nadu Government submits necessary proposals. At present only 153 Km, out of 738 Km, is under National Highway and the remaining stretch is with the State Government.

The foundation stone will soon be laid for the project to upgrade 115 Km of Madurai – Ramanathapuram section of NH-49 which is under consideration of the Ministry.

New projects for widening and improvement of 430 Kms of National Highways at a cost of ₹ 4000 crore have been approved during the last six months for Tamil Nadu and Kerala, out of which works also commenced for 290 Kms in Tamil Nadu. Work on remaining project is expected to be commenced shortly.

Following Tamil Nadu’s request ₹ 390 crore has been sanctioned to the State under Central Road Fund and 2 new projects under Inter State Road Connectivity Scheme linking Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been approved.

He also announced that ₹ 112.08 crore has been sanctioned for the State of Puducherry from the Central Road Fund during the year 2014-15. For the State of Kerala, ₹ 122 Crore has been sanctioned from the central funds during the current year.

Published on March 28, 2015
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