The Madras High Court on Thursday gave its nod to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to recommence the 19-km long “Chennai Port-Maduravoyal Elevated Corridor” which was stalled by Public Works Department (PWD).
The project was mainly conceived for speedy evacuation of cargo from Chennai port. Work commenced in September 2010. The project was stalled in 2012.
By the January 28 letter, the PWD had sought revised Coastal Regulation Zone clearance for the elevated corridor and also said certain remedial measures such as dredging two metre beyond the outer column and construction of the retaining wall for three to four meters in the extended portion should be carried out.
Hence, NHAI filed a writ petition to quash the records of the Chief Engineer, PWD, Water Resource Organisation, Chennai Region, of January 28 this year and consequently direct the authorities to co-ordinate and take all steps to complete it within a planned time. A few other writ petitions were also filed in the Madras High Court seeking to direct the State government to allow the NHAI to proceed with construction.
The NHAI said it was aggrieved by the stumbling blocks put up by the Tamil Nadu Government for the due execution of India's first elevated project involving Rs.1,800 crore. It was the "motivated, tainted" action of the State Government which had led to the situation of stalling of the project work.
Setting aside the orders of the PWD, a division bench comprising Justices N. Paul Vasanthakumar and P. Devadass also directed the State government and all contesting respondents to extend full co-operation for continuance project which has been already commenced after obtaining clearance from Coastal Regulatory Zone Authority.
The Bench directed the PWD to co-ordinate and monitor free flow of water of Coovam River along with authorities. The State authorities should work in tandem with NHAI for the completion of the project.