Corporation Commissioner assures review of the work
Amidst growing disenchantment among city residents over the slow progress made in the inner link road project between Anna Nagar Main Road and Cantonment in the city, a section of elected representatives of the Tiruchi Corporation have made a pitch for the cancellation of the contract.
The project involves the construction of a new bridge across Uyyakondan river and the construction was supposed to be expedited taking advantage of the current closure of Uyyakondan river for irrigation.
But the project has been progressing in snail's pace over the past couple of years after being sanctioned several years ago at a cost of about Rs.4.38 crore, which includes a grant of Rs.1.20 crore from the Seed Capital Assistance Scheme of the Department of Town and Country Planning.
The project work ran into problems right from the tender stage and began in right earnest only last year, only to slowdown after making some tardy progress. The corporation had acquired a portion of land from the District Court complex and though the ground for laying the approach roads along the complex was taken up several months ago, the roads are yet to be laid. Only a few earth movers and construction material could be seen at the site now. Unfinished piers could be seen along the river.
The bridge would run just for about 35.60 metres while the approach roads would run for about 685 metres.
The project was expected to ease the congestion on the Thillai Nagar Main Road and Woraiyur Road. Motorists are facing much hardship owing to the traffic bottleneck at the Anna Nagar Main Road-Pattabiraman Pillai Road junction as all mofussil buses entering the city from the Chathram Bus Stand side have been diverted through the Anna Nagar Main Road.
The contract for the project, including the construction of the bridge, approach roads and drains alongside the road, was bagged by a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) functionary under the previous government. Repeated attempts made by Corporation officials to expedite the project over the past two years have brought no improvement.
At last week's Corporation Council meeting, AIADMK councillor A.Shanmugam representing the Anna Nagar area, drew the attention of the authorities to the poor progress made in the project and demanded steps to expedite the work.
His party colleague J.Srinivasan pointed out that the work has been underway for over two and a-half years now and demanded a review of the progress of the work. If necessary, the contract should be cancelled, he demanded.
However, former DMK deputy mayor M.Anbazhagan countered the demand saying that cancellation of the contract would only lead to further delay and a revenue loss to the civic body.
The civic body appears to be faced with a dilemma now. One of the possibilities would be to cancel the contract and blacklist the contractor. But this would entail finding a new contractor to execute the project.
Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani, who assumed charged recently, told The Hindu that he would soon review the project thoroughly and take up the matter with higher ups to arrive at a decision soon on the fate of the project.