Detailed project reports on improvement of roads for 600 km are getting ready

The State may soon witness the launch of a massive road sector project.

Detailed project reports on improvement of roads for about 600 km are getting ready. They will be finalised in a month and bids will be floated a few months later.

Once contracts are awarded, works are expected to be completed in two years, according to officials of the Highways Department. The government has decided to seek the assistance of the World Bank.

As a prerequisite to the approval of the multilateral agency, the Highways authorities have to start work in respect of one-third of the length of roads. This is why roads for about 600 km are being taken up. Totally, around 2,100 km are going to be covered under the proposed Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project (TNRSP)-II, which envisages an outlay of Rs. 9,000 crore.

The project will have five broad components, each having 45 roads in every region. In the northern zone, the roads in the districts of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram will be taken up. The eastern zone will take care of those roads in Thanjavur and Tiruchi, while corridors in Madurai and down south will fall under the southern zone. As for the western zone, there will be two components, one dealing with roads originating from Salem city and the other from Coimbatore and Tirupur.

Among the roads identified for the initial phase are Kancheepuram-Vandavasi through the Cheyyar industrial estate; Salem-Tirupattur-Vaniyambadi; Omalur- Sankagiri-Tiruchengode-Paramathivelur; Oddanchatram-Dharapuram- Tiruppur; and Tirunelveli-Tenkasi. Explaining the nature of the works to be carried out, the officials say that at many places, the curves will be smoothened so that vehicles can go at a higher speed. Many roads will be provided with four lanes.

Land acquisition

The identification of the stretches has been done in such a way that there is less land acquisition involved. Even where the acquisition is needed, the authorities will stick to the broad principles followed in the TNRSP-I for resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) of the project-affected people, the officials say, adding that the stipulations of the new law on land acquisition will be followed.

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