The Minister was responding to a query on the time overruns suffered by several ROB works in Tiruchi district on account of delay in completing the land acquisition

The State government has decided to award tenders for new projects such as road overbridges (ROB) only after acquiring lands required for them, said Edapadi K.Palaniswami, Minister for Highways and Minor Ports, here on Thursday.

“During the previous regime, tenders for many projects were awarded before the land acquisition was completed. This has resulted in project delays and steps have been taken to expedite the process now. To overcome the problem, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has ordered that tenders for all new projects be awarded only after completing the land acquisition,” he told reporters. The Minister was responding to a query on the time overruns suffered by several ROB works in Tiruchi district on account of delay in completing the land acquisition.

Mr.Palaniswami, along with N.R.Sivapathi, Minister for School Education, Youth Welfare and Sports, and P.Kumar, MP, inspected the progress of the construction of a road overbridge (ROB) at Crawford and the site for a new multi-level ROB near the railway junction in the city.

The Minister disclosed that the design for the new multi-level ROB at the Madurai highway intersection near the junction in the city was in the ‘approval stage’ and the process would be completed by the end of August. Tenders for the project would be called for by December.

The ROB, replacing the existing narrow bridge that has turned a traffic bottleneck in the city, would be a multi-level one with seven arms.

The State government has already accorded administrative sanction for the ROB at an estimated cost of Rs.74 crore. The ROB would run for a length of 1,835 metres.

The proposed bridge would have seven lanes on the railway portion and would have separate arms with two to three lanes leading towards the Chennai Bypass Road, Aristo Hotel Junction, Dindigul Highway, Central Bus Stand, railway junction, Madurai Highway and a new road to be laid near the MSP camp.

The arms towards the Chennai Bypass Road and the Aristo Hotel junction would have three lanes each at the higher level and lower levels. Service roads would be provided at the ground level along all important arms.

Mr.Palaniswami was informed by Collector Jayashree Muralidharan and other officials that steps have been taken to expedite the land acquisition for the Crawford ROB. M.Rajamani, chief engineer, highways (construction and maintenance) and M.Natarajan, chief engineer, highways (projects), explained the salient features of the projects to the Minister.

M.Paranjothi, R.Manoharan, R.Chandrasekar and T.P.Poonatchi, MLAs, A.Jaya, Mayor, and Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani were present.

Earlier, the Minister chaired a meeting with department officials to review the progress of the works being executed by the highways department in Tiruchi region covering Tiruchi, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam district. He reviewed the progress of various ROB and road construction projects, including the ROBs coming up at Oyamari Road, Lalgudi and Manapparai. Works on all these ROBs have been hampered owing to delay in completing the land acquisition process. He directed the officials to initiate steps to overcome the obstacles and also requested the Collector to expedite the land acquisition process.

The Minister also held discussions with officials on the proposed ROB at Thiruvanakovil in Srirangam constituency.