Delay in shifting water line by Chennai Metrowater cited as cause; only 20% of work completed

Work on construction of a flyover at the junction of Mount Poonamallee Road and Arcot Salai by the Highways Department to ease traffic flow in Porur has been put on hold. The contract has been foreclosed and only about 20 per cent of the civil work has been completed.

Though land acquisition was completed and civil work commenced, the department had to stop work as a water main from the Chembarambakkam lake that runs beneath Mount Poonamallee Road has to be shifted by Chennai Metrowater.

“We have foreclosed the contract so that we can prevent idling charges. Chennai Metrowater plans to lay a new line and abandon the existing line. Unless that is done, we cannot take up the work. We have already paid close to Rs. 6 crore to the water agency but due to a delay on their part, our work has not progressed,” said a source in the Highways Department.

Officials of Chennai Metrowater said: “Initially there was a delay in acquiring land because of which our contract period got over. Now we have called for a re-tender for the work and bids are being evaluated. The work order will be issued within a month.”

It will take six months for the work to be completed after which the Highways department will take at least a year to finish the Rs.35-crore flyover.

In effect, issues pertaining to land acquisition and shifting of the water main have delayed the project to ease traffic flow at the junction.

The volume of traffic on the two roads is so huge that even at noon it takes around 20 minutes to cross the junction. “In the evenings the traffic is heavier and we need an additional 45 minutes to reach our destination. One side of Mount Poonamallee Road from where you can turn into Arcot Road needs to be re-laid so that at least that portion of traffic flow can be smoothened out,” said K. Masilamani, a resident of Lakshmi Nagar near Porur.

Abdul Razzaq, local resident and autorickshaw driver, who regularly uses the junction, said: “A signature campaign urging the Highways Department to take up the work was organised last year in which close to 10,000 people participated. But only a few pillars have come up after that.”

He also recalled that when shops were removed in July 2011, they were told work would be completed in 15 months by the Highways Department. But to date, nothing has happened.

Maduravoyal MLA G. Beem Rao said: “When I raised this issue in the Assembly, The Highways Minister responded that work would be completed soon. Despite his assurance in the presence of the Chief Minister, the work was stopped midway. If work is not commenced within a short while, I will join hands with residential welfare associations and traders bodies and organise an agitation.”

RELATED NEWS

Law & OrderSeptember 24, 2010

At WorkSeptember 24, 2010

Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

Porur flyover work to resume in 6 monthsApril 12, 2013

More In: Chennai