Widening of the NH 47 from Chengapalli to Neelambur and from Madukkarai to Walayar for 54 km is likely to see further delay, with lack of funds turning out to be a major constraint faced by the concessionaire in completing the works.

Works to six-lane the road from Chengapalli to Neelambur and four-lane it from Madukkarai to Walayar was started in 2010 at a total outlay of Rs. 850 crore.

It was scheduled for completion in March this year.

However, with slow down in works, the concessionaire was given time till the end of July to complete the works and it was extended to end of December, 2013.

Now, it is expected that the project will be completed by March next year.

A substantial portion of the project was completed in one year (2010 to 2011).

During the last two years, progress has slowed down and has hardly progressed between Madukkarai and Walayar. There are demands to expedite the works as this is an important road that connects Coimbatore region to other States.

A source involved in the project say that it will be helpful if the State Government signs the umbrella State support agreement. Without the agreement and with difficulties in getting finance from the lenders, the progress has slowed down. Further, out of the 12 km to be widened from Madukkarai to Walayar, land acquisition has not been completed for three km.

An official of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said that the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes had a meeting in Chennai last week with officials of the NHAI and the concessionaires.

It was pointed out that the NH 47 widening works had seen very little progress during the last one-and-a-half year.

The contractor will have to mobilise resources to complete the remaining 30 per cent of the project.

The road is being widened under the Build-Operate-Transfer mode. The toll collection is expected to be Rs. 30 lakh a day.

If the contractor is able to mobilise Rs. 200 crore, the entire project would be completed in five months, the source said.

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