The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is likely to fund several of the city’s projects, including three grade separators.

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), the nodal agency, has sought government approval.

One of the grade separators, which are to be constructed by the State highways department, covers three junctions in south Chennai and was announced in last year’s State budget. It will be built over the junctions of Medavakkam-Sholinganallur Road, Medavakkam-Mambakkam Road and Maraimalai Adigai Bridge-Irumbuliyur Road at Medavakkam.

The alignment for this 1.5-km-long grade separator has been approved. It would be a 4-lane facility and cost around Rs. 90 crore.

Sources said, of the total land requirement for the project, 45 metre of land had already been acquired in the 1970s under the Madras Metropolitan Road Development Scheme.

However, encroachments would have to be removed to facilitate the construction of the four-lane facility.

“These are three important junctions. Though the Medavakkam road is wide, rush hour traffic is heavy. In the afternoon, a large number of vehicles use the road. The facility would be of immense use to residents in Perumbakkam, Pallikaranai and Medavakkam areas and those passing this road to reach the IT Corridor,” said N. Suganthy, a resident of Pallikaranai.

Another facility that will come up over the junctions of Medavakkam Road and Pallavaram Thoraipakkam Road near Keelkattalai at a cost of Rs. 60 crore will also receive JICA funding. This facility will be a 600-metre-long structure and is expected to spell relief for residents living in the vicinity of Thoraipakkam Radial Road.

For residents of west Chennai, a bridge across Cooum river between Mount Poonamallee Avadi Road and Paruthipattu will be also constructed with JICA funds.

 A team of officials from JICA, had met with officials of the CMDA a few months ago, and reviewed various infrastructure development projects on the outskirts. A number of projects in Madhavaram, Karunakaracheri and Manjambakkam figured in the discussions. The possibility of these projects, as well the localities they are in, attracting Japanese investment was discussed at the meeting.

The projects, including a truck terminal and a logistics park, have already been listed in the State’s investment promotion programme for the Chennai metropolitan area.

The logistics park is to come up on 117.25 acres of land in Karunakaracheri and Annambedu. In Manjambakkam, a truck parking yard is to come up. Administrative sanction for this project was granted in 2011. Work is expected to be completed by 2014.

JICA, which supports socioeconomic development in developing regions, provides bilateral aid through technical cooperation and loans. The huge investment made by Japanese investors in the State has been one of the factors contributing to JICA funding. The projects funded by the agency are aimed at establishing better connectivity with the city for Japanese industrial units in the suburbs. The Japanese investors had raised the issue with their government and senior officials from New Delhi have been periodically visiting Chennai during the past few months to review crucial infrastructure projects.

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