Land acquisition for widening the 5-km-long Tiruvottiyur High Road, the lifeline of north Chennai, from Tollgate to Ernavur Bridge, is expected to be taken up soon.
According to sources, the Highways Department has already released around Rs.15 crore to the Revenue Department. Revenue officials will now verify documents of land owners and award the money to them. The compensation will be paid based on guideline value.
Most of the land to be acquired is private property, while one portion belongs to a temple, sources said.
Along with the widening, work on construction of stormwater drains and a portion of the median would be taken up. Already, about 3.5 km of median has been constructed. In the 5 km stretch, a majority of the land would be acquired in the busy market area and many shops would have to go. One portion of the land near Theradi belongs to the Sri Vadivudai Amman Temple, and the temple would be adequately compensated for it.
There have been objections from traders for this proposal as many small shops would be demolished. “Added to this, we are worried about the Metrorail project as it is likely to take up more land. When we approached Metrorail officials, they said a 100 ft road was a requirement. This means more shops would be demolished. We have requested that the train be taken underground so that such small establishments are not disturbed,” said a trader. Tiruvottiyur Municipal Chairman R.Jayaraman said: “The elections came in the way of land acquisition. We expect the work of expansion to be completed by October this year. It has been over four years since work on widening the road to 60 feet was taken up.”