Firm seeks Rs. 668 crore for delay

In yet another blow to the Chennai Port-Maduravoyal elevated expressway project, the concessionaire Soma Enterprises Ltd., has sought Rs. 668 crore from the National Highways Authority of India as compensation for the delay in implementing the project.

The Rs.1,815-crore project has been put on hold for nearly a year now after the Water Resources Department issued a stop notice on the ground that the alignment along the banks of the Cooum river had deviated from what was stipulated in the G.O.

Though the toll road was to have been opened by September this year, only 20 per cent of the work has been completed so far and nearly Rs. 500 crore spent.

The company, in a recent letter to the General Manager (Technical), NHAI, New Delhi, said that till date it had not received land, which resulted in the delay in project milestones. The State government was to have acquired land and resettled 6,100 families living along the Cooum river and removed 458 commercial structures in Chintadripet.

Considering that the State government and the Chennai Port are the main beneficiaries of the project, the concessionaire anticipated full support and cooperation from the government.

No support

However, this lack of support had adversely affected the execution of the project.

The company said that it has also resulted in underutilisation of its resources, loss of turnover profit and increase in material cost.

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