The delay would slow down the pace on another bridge in Thiruvanaikovil
Although construction of the new bridge along the Cauvery banks at Odathurai in the city has reached an advanced stage, it could still take several months for the project to be completed.
The bridge, which would connect the Chinthamani area of the city with the Chennai bypass, was sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 28.50 crore. The project took off in March 2010 but faced several glitches right from the start and has overshot its scheduled completion date in March 2012.
The Highways Department is unable to complete the work on the city side of the bridge because of ownership dispute over a piece of land which is pending before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.
The piece of land comes under the area that was identified for acquisition for the project and the Highways Department has deposited the compensation for the same with the Revenue Department.
The Highways Department has impleaded in the case before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court and sought permission to allow it to take up the work at the site in dispute pending the disposal of the case.
Meanwhile, the Railways has recently begun work on constructing the portion of the bridge across the track after much delay. Indications are that it could take six to eight months to complete. Only after the bridge on the railway land was complete, the Highways Department could construct the adjacent spans on either side.
Meanwhile, the contractor who had taken up the project on behalf of the Highways Department has applied for foreclosure of the contract in view of the delay. If the request is conceded, the department would have to prepare estimates at current rate and call for fresh tenders, which could entail further delay, sources indicated.
The delay in completion of this bridge would lead to a chain reaction and slow down the pace on another bridge that is to come up over the railway line at Periyarnagar in Thiruvanaikovil. The Railways and the Highways Department have commenced work on the project, but the main structure could be built only after the Odathurai bridge is opened for traffic.