L. Renganathan

The stretch to be developed in 30 months

Estimated cost of the project is Rs.560 crore

KARUR: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has handed over the 80-km stretch of the National Highway (NH) 67 between Tiruchi and Karur to a subsidiary of the Reliance Infrastructure Limited (RIL) for developing it as two-lane and four lane stretches wherever possible and maintaining them.

The concession period commenced on January 17 and runs to 30 years including 30 months for developing the stretch. The estimated cost of the project is Rs.560 crore.

The RIL has introduced a special purpose vehicle, Tiruchi-Karur Tollway Limited (TKTL), for developing and maintaining the stretch on build-operate-transfer mode by collecting toll for use.

The NHAI and the TKTL signed a pact for the purpose on July 19, 2007. One month later, the NHAI handed over the road to TKTL. The development period ended last Wednesday. Development of the NH stretch is expected to be completed by July 2010.

As per the present plan, a new two-lane bypass road would be laid for a length of 17 km connecting Panjappur (on NH 45 B) with Jeeyapuram (on NH 67). The existing stretch between Jeeyapuram and Marudur would be developed also as a two-lane with paved shoulders. A new bypass road is to be developed between Marudur and Karupathur for a length of 10 km to circumvent Kulithalai road congestion. The new road would be sandwiched between the Cauvery and Kulithalai town. Again a new two-lane stretch with paved shoulders would be laid for a length of 18 km between Karupathur and Manavasi from where the four-lane stretch begin.

A new four-lane stretch for a length of 7 km would be laid along the existing NH alignment between Manavasi and Veerarakkiam, from where the new NH veers off to south and touches Sukkaliyur in the south west of Karur town. The last stretch would run for a distance of 15 km and carry four-lane traffic.

Fund for repair works

When asked about the plans to repair the rain-damaged road, the NHAI Project Director, P. Thangamani, told The Hindu that a sum of Rs.1.53 crore had been sanctioned to take up urgent and immediate repair works.

Pothole filling, shaving off accumulated sand and gravel and carrying out minor repair works to damaged culverts would be completed before February 15.

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