Huge cost of land acquisition is the main reason; residents fear project will be put on hold

The much-awaited flyover and underpass project at the Lattice Bridge Road (L.B. Road)-Thiruvalluvar Salai-West Avenue Road junction in Thiruvanmiyur to ease traffic congestion is getting delayed because of the huge cost involved in acquisition of land. Residents fear that the project would be shelved.

A senior official of the Chennai Corporation, however, refuted talks about the project unlikely to take off. But he admitted that cost of land acquisition for the project was proving to be a big challenge.

While the construction cost of the flyover and the underpass was Rs.33.76 crore, that of land acquisition was estimated to be more than twice that amount, at Rs.77.01 crore.

DPR completed in October last

A Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project had been completed by Wilbur Smith Associates in October last year.

The civic agency was exploring the option of using the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) for acquiring the lands necessary to bring down the cost. Though modalities for using the TDR for such infrastructure development were yet to be worked out, it proposes to initiate talks with Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) on this subject shortly. The TDR had been successfully used for infrastructure development in Hyderabad, thereby reducing the cost on land acquisition, the official added.

Timeframe

Senior officials of the Corporation were not willing to commit on a timeframe for launch of the construction work of the project.

The DPR suggests a four-lane flyover on L.B. Road and a four-lane underpass linking East Coast Road with Rajiv Gandhi Salai (erstwhile Old Mahabalipuram Road).

The underpass would start at Thiruvalluvar Salai and end at West Avenue Road and have a width of around 60 feet.

Various issues concerning the flyover and the underpass, including the environmental impact, social impact, extent of land to be acquired, construction methodology, structural design and traffic detour plans, have been detailed in the report.

The project is one of the four proposed flyovers announced by Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in 2007. Meanwhile, changes in vehicular movement, introduced by the traffic police earlier this month to ease congestion at the Thiruvanmiyur junction, had only made marginal improvement.

Suresh Chandra Menon, a resident of Adyar, said that the traffic arrangements had eased movement of vehicles coming from Adyar and bound for East Coast Road. But there is little change in the congestion at the Thiruvanmiyur signal as a result of heavy traffic from East Coast Road.

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