Special Correspondent

Rs.1,171 crore allocated for bridges

Rs.2,225 crore for road works

CHENNAI: Two long overbridges on Anna Salai, five on Rajiv Gandhi Salai (both in Chennai), and a comprehensive bypass for Coimbatore are among the projects that the Highways department will take up this year.

Replying to the debate on the demands for grants for his department, Highways Minister M.P. Saminathan said that one of two bridges on Anna Salai would originate near the new Secretariat and terminate at Patulous Road. The other one would originate near the DMK headquarters in Teynampet and end near the Mambalam channel in Saidapet.

The first one would be 2-km long and the second, 3 km. The two flyovers would cost Rs. 500 crore. Piling works would begin this year.

On Rajiv Gandhi Salai (OMR), a flyover each would be constructed at the Tiruvanmiyur–Taramani junction, on SRP tools–Taramani link road, at the Perungudi junction, at the Thoraipakkam–Pallavaram road junction and Sholinganallur junction.

For the coming financial year, Rs.1,171 crore has been allocated for the construction of bridges and Rs.2,225 crore for road works.

Intervening during the reply, O. Paneerselvam (AIADMK), said the department had the worst record of utilising resources. In 2006-07, Rs. 2,366 crore was allocated and the department utilised only Rs.1,432 crore. It gave back to the government Rs. 934 crore. In all the four years the DMK had been in power, the story remained the same. In 2009-10, of the Rs.539 crore allocated to the department, only Rs. 255.44 crore was spent.

Mr. Saminathan claimed that money could not be spent because the previous AIADMK government refused to fill vacancies in the department, to the extent that it became dysfunctional.

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