Residents of Thiruporur have urged the Highways Department to speed up construction of a Rs. 4.10 crore bridge across the Buckingham Canal.

The bridge, work on which began in 2010, will connect Thiruporur to Nemmeli on East Coast Road (ECR). The structure is being constructed as part of the tsunami rehabilitation programme.

K. Sivaraman a resident of Thiruporur said that at present, residents who wanted to get on to ECR have to first go to Kelambakkam to reach Kovalam, or travel to Poonjeri near Mamallapuram.

“The distance between these two areas – Kelambakkam and Poonjeri is 21 km. Work on the bridge has been progressing very slowly. If it is speeded up, it would immensely help residents of this area,” he said.

More bridges are also coming up as part of the same project – two bridges in Mamallapuram on the Thirukazhukundram Road, one across backwaters and another across Buckingham Canal at a cost of Rs. 4 crore; one at Thazhuthaali Kuppam at Rs. 6 crore across Buckingham Canal and another at Kadapakkam at Rs. 6.23 crore.

P. Kuppusamy of Kadapakkam said the Kadapakkam bridge led to the Alambara Fort, an important tourist attraction on ECR.

“Eight years have gone by after the tsunami of 2004. But work that is supposed to be part of the tsunami rehabilitation programme is yet to be completed. This bridge will replace an exiting old bridge. Film shootings take place here on a regular basis. If it comes up, Alambara can also be developed. The same contractor seems to have taken up other work too, which is why there seems to be a delay,” he said.

A source in the Highways Department said that by June, all five bridges would be completed. “Due to various reasons the work had been stopped for some time. We are now expediting the work,” the official said.

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