33-km stretch from Akkarai will also be improved
Work to widen the 33-km stretch of East Coast Road from Akkarai to Mamallapuram is likely to commence by March next year.
Sources in Tamil Nadu Road Development Company that manages the road — a tolled facility in its 12th year of operations — said soon, encroachments along the road would be removed. “The process of identifying the encroachments is nearing completion. Payment of compensation to the remaining land owners is also nearly complete,” said an official.
The widening has been necessitated due to the increasing number of vehicles plying the road and is an attempt at reducing accidents. On weekdays, around 12,600 vehicles ply the road and during weekends, the number swells to over 15,000 since a large number of vehicles travel to Puducherry.
The number of accidents on the road has also been a cause for concern. This year, during the period from March to September, over 165 accidents were recorded on the road. From April 2012 till March 2013, a total of 174 accidents were recorded. “Most accidents seem to happen during the weekends. Already, steps have been taken to straighten curves, improve lighting in populated areas and increase the number of signage. This widening will further help bring down the number of accidents and fatalities,” he said.
For the widening, around 59 hectares of land is required from 13 revenue villages including Muttukadu, Kovalam, Thiruvidanthai, Nemeli, Krishnankaranai, Pattipulam, Salavankuppam, Devanery, Mamallapuram and Pooncheri.
The State government has provided Rs. 272 crore for the work which includes construction of a two-metre-wide median, hard shoulders, footpaths and stormwater drains. Lighting will also be improved. Three minor bridges, 13 box culverts and the Muttukadu bridge will be widened.
On the stretch beyond Mamallapuram, till Puducherry, nine curves and 13 junctions are also being improved.