Contractor of Port-Maduravoyal elevated corridor demands additional compensation again

The contractor of the Port-Maduravoyal elevated corridor project has demanded payment of an additional Rs. 103 crore, as compensation for delays in handing over land, idling charges and interest.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) recently submitted an additional affidavit in the Madras High Court and said that the State government is bound to bear all financial expenditure on account of stoppage of the project.

Including this amount, the contractor, Soma Enterprises Ltd., has raised claims of Rs. 872.80 crore as compensation.

The Rs. 1,815-crore project was put on hold in March 2012 after the Water Resources Department issued a ‘stop work’ notice saying the alignment of the corridor along the banks of the Cooum had deviated from the original alignment. “It was the government that issued the ‘stop work’ notice and hence it is responsible for losses to the concessionaire, who has to build, operate and transfer the elevated corridor project after a period of 20 years. In the affidavit submitted to the Madras High Court, we have mentioned this,” said the NHAI official.

The NHAI is the implementing agency for the project and the deadline for the 19-km-long stretch is September 13, 2013.

“If there is no improvement in the status of the project by then, we will have no other alternative but to terminate the contract,” said an NHAI official.

The NHAI had gone to court seeking a direction to quash the order and direct the State government to take all steps to proceed with the project within a stipulated time frame.

The State government had to also share 50 per cent of the cost of land acquisition, and resettlement and rehabilitation of 6,100 families living along the Cooum, and remove 458 commercial structures in Chintadripet.

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