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Another Central team to visit State: Baalu

Special Correspondent

DMK delegation meets Manmohan, explains urgency of flood situation

  • Meeting to discuss directing of storm water into Adyar river
  • State Highways to be repaired soon
  • Subway between Tirusulam station-Chennai airport to be inaugurated in June

    CHENNAI: "One more Central team will soon visit Chennai and the southern districts of Tamil Nadu to assess the extent of damage and provide additional financial assistance to re-lay the roads which have been severely affected," Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T.R. Baalu said here on Saturday.

    Addressing a news conference after chairing a review meeting on storm water drainage at the Chennai airport, the Minister said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said one more Central team would be despatched soon to Tamil Nadu. The decision had been made in the light of a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam delegation meeting Dr. Singh and seeking his urgent intervention.

    "In my presence, the Prime Minister telephonically conveyed the urgency of the issue to the Union Home Minister," Mr. Baalu said, adding that the Central Government had discussed the issue in detail with the DMK delegation. A set of resolutions made by DMK president M. Karunanidhi were presented to the Prime Minister.

    Feasibility study

    He said the main purpose of Saturday's meeting was to undertake a feasibility study and examine in about 45 days whether the excess water in St. Thomas Mount, Madipakkam, Nanganallur and other adjoining areas could be directed into the Adyar river.

    A.K. Mishra, Member Planning, Airports Authority of India, S. Subramanian, Chennai Airport Director, Dr. K. Ramalingam, Southern Regional Executive Director, AAI, V. Muthukrishnan, Chief Project Officer, Tamil Nadu Road Development Company, and senior officials of the National Highways Authority of India, Alandur Municipality and St. Thomas Mount Cantonment Board, were among those who participated.

    Damage to highways

    When asked about the extent of damages caused to the National Highways in Tamil Nadu and how soon road repairs would be undertaken, Mr. Baalu listed the major national highways in the southern districts that had been affected. The Tiruchi-Dindigul road, a 75-metre stretch in Irayur, Thozhuthur and Kazhuthur, has been damaged by the floods. "I have directed the officers of the National Highways Authority of India to undertake road re-laying and improvement work on a war-footing and by this week, most of the affected roads in the southern districts would be made roadworthy," he said.

    On the proposed subway between Tirusulam railway station and Chennai airport, Mr. Baalu said the Rs. 4.6-crore project had been initiated by the NHAI and the AAI. "We hope to inaugurate the subway on June 6 next year," he said. He said the proposed Rs. 900-crore Tindivanam-Tiruchi Highway road improvement work would be completed as the process of awarding the contract was on.

    About a proposal to construct an elevated dedicated highway from Guindy Kathipara junction to Chennai airport in the light of the increasing traffic, Mr. Baalu said he was willing to consider the proposal if only the State Government offered support in terms of providing the required land. "We had an ambitious plan for an elevated highway project to link Maduravoyal with War Memorial at a cost of Rs. 800 crores to ease the Port traffic congestion. But the project has not taken off on account of non-availability of land," he said.

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