The draft detailed project report for the four-laning of East Coast Road up to Puducherry has recommended that the work till Mamallapuram be taken up immediately. Widening of the remaining stretch could wait, the consultant said in the report to Tamil Nadu Road Development Company, which manages the road.

Sources in TNRDC said the draft DPR, submitted recently by STUP Consultants Ltd, made this recommendation based on the traffic projections. The DPR, whose draft is being scrutinised, would be submitted by TNRDC shortly to the State government for approval.

“The consultant has said that widening beyond Mamallapuram was not necessary in the near future. The DPR for the four-laning till Mamallapuram will contain the proposed alignment and costs involved in widening. Footpaths would be constructed in the residential areas along ECR. Installation of lights was also under consideration,” an official of the company said.

TNRDC has enough land for widening of the 35-km stretch till Mamallapuram except in places where correction of bends is needed. The road widening project is expected to reduce accidents. The ECR till Hanumanthai near Puducherry is 113.2 km long and has a total of 22 bends.

On an average 12,000 vehicles use the road daily. Prior to the development of ECR – it was made a toll road in April 2002 – the number of vehicles that used it was just 5,000 daily.

Work to correct a sharp bend at Seekinankuppam beyond Kalpakkam, where several accidents took place, is to be launched soon.

The process of acquiring land for widening the 11.4-km stretch from Thiruvanmiyur to Akkarai covering six revenue villages, which is under the control of the Highways Department, is also under way.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012