The unwinding of an ambitious project
The work on the Rs.1,815 crore Chennai Port-Maduravoyal elevated link road project had been going on at a slow pace as land acquisition (LA) and rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) are yet to be completed by the State government.
The foundation stone for the four-lane elevated expressway was laid by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during January 2009. The project will culminate near War Memorial, but the point of landing is yet to be finalised.
Of the 19-km stretch running from the Chennai Port to Maduravoyal, the civil work is being done on a piecemeal basis on the banks of the river Cooum on a stretch of about 6.5 km, while the rest of the project is waiting for Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) and Revenue Department to commence the R&R and LA work respectively.
The R&R scheme envisages alternative locations to about 7,400 tenements and 458 commercial establishments at Chintadripet and Pudupet. Till date, only 1,300 tenements have been shifted to Okkiam Thoraipakkam and rest of them have to be moved to Perumbakkam.
To help commercial establishments, Auto Nagar is being created near Singaperumal Koil in Maraimalai Nagar.
As of now, the State government has to take possession of land at Pallavan Nagar, Chintadripet, Pudupet, Longs Garden Bridge, South Cooum road, Rettamalai Srinivasan Nagar and, Appasami Street, Kathiravan Colony, River View colony, Radhakrishnan Nagar and Muthumariamman Nagar.
Talking to The Hindu, the sources said 2.1 hectare of land have to be acquired at Maduravoyal and Koyambedu junctions (1.5 km).
The project also suffers due to delay in LA of about 5 km on the South Cooum Bank Road starting from Chinthadripet, Pudupet and Pallavan Nagar.
Slums stretching to 1.5 km have to be cleared from Koyambedu to Choolaimedu. Some defence land has to be acquired at the landing point.