The State government has informed the Madras High Court that it has decided to drop the project for constructing an elevated road from Lighthouse to Kottivakkam here.

When a writ petition filed against the formation of the elevated road came up before the First Bench comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam, Advocate-General, A. Navaneethakrishnan said the government had decided not to go ahead with the project. The writ petition was filed by C. Kasinathan of Urur Kuppam. The 9.7-km road was earlier proposed to connect Lighthouse with the East Coast Road.

The objective was to improve connectivity to the ECR and provide easy traffic mobility. The final alignment of the elevated project via Besant Nagar was approved in 2008.

Residents hail decision

Staff Reporter adds: The State government has decided to drop the project after careful consideration of the objections and issues raised by various sections of people.Environmentalists and fisherfolk of villages along the coastline welcomed the decision.

Expressing their gratitude to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, they said had the government gone ahead with its implementation, the project would have affected villages and beaches, besides causing damage to the environment.

Unexpected victory

K. Saravanan, RTI activist from Urur Kuppam, said: “My father C. Kasinathan [the petitioner], people of 14 fishing hamlets and many environmentalists have been fighting against the project. This is an unexpected victory after our four-year struggle.”

The withdrawal of the proposal, for which a detailed project report was also prepared, has brought cheer among fishermen as they perceived the elevated road as a threat to their livelihood.

R. Kuppan of Kottivakkam Kuppam said the monthly earning of each family in the hamlet was a meagre Rs.3,000. “We can now carry on fishing without any interference. Fishermen's livelihood would have been severely affected if the project had been implemented,” he said.

Nityanand Jayaraman of ‘Save Chennai Beaches Campaign' said the project would have benefited only the rich. Welcoming the decision, he said the State government must continue to display commitment to strengthen public transportation system and discourage people from using private transport.