Delay likely as Centre yet to give NOC for digging NH

The final report on the implementation of Phase II of the underground sewerage scheme (UGSS) in extension areas of Vellore Corporation is under preparation by a private consulting agency in Chennai.

Out of the erstwhile 48 wards in the Vellore Corporation before the annexation of new areas, 24 wards were covered under the UGSS Phase I. The work was started in 2009 based on the original administrative sanction for Rs.30 crore accorded in 2006. A revised administrative sanction was accorded for Rs.40.49 crore in December 2009 and the work was slated for completion by March 31, 2011.

But, three extensions in time were sanctioned thereafter and the work is scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2013.

But, going by the progress of the work, the work is not likely to be completed by that date in view of the fact that the Union government is yet to issue a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) to the Vellore Corporation to take up work on digging of the National Highway for a length of 3.6 km from Jayamurugan Theatre in Sankaranpalayam to National Theatre in Thottapalayam running through Arni Road, Veppamaram Street, Anna Salai and Katpadi Road for the purpose of laying underground stoneware pipelines.

According to an official of the Vellore Corporation, the civic body has remitted Rs.4.6 crore to the National Highways for undertaking road-cutting for laying pipelines and road restoration after the pipelines are laid.

When asked about the delay in the sanction of NOC by the Centre, R. Dhananchezhiyan, Divisional Engineer, National Highways, Vellore, told The Hindu that the request for NOC has been forwarded to the Union government in the first week of January, and the certificate is expected within 15 days.

The official said that the work on laying pipelines in the NH portion would begin once the NOC is received. “Once we get the permission, we will complete the work in three months,” he said.

As regards completed works under Phase-I, while most of the roads dug up for laying pipelines have been restored temporarily, permanent restoration is making slow progress. The Corporation official said that the permanent restoration work has been taken up under the Urban Road Infrastructure Programme in respect of the roads coming under the maintenance of the Vellore Corporation. While permanent restoration has been done for 35 roads, the work is in progress on 15 roads.

As regards Anna Salai from Hotel Arya Bhavan to Tollgate, which is maintained by the State Highways, temporary restoration of the dug-up road has been done between Hotel Arya Bhavan and Hotel Baby Residency. The work on laying pipelines is nearing completion between Lakshmi Theatre and Tollgate. The work on laying pipelines would be taken up between Lakshmi Theatre and Hotel Baby Residency soon, according to the official.

The Corporation has paid Rs.90 lakh to the State Highways Department for undertaking road restoration. The work on permanent restoration of the road from Hotel Arya Bhavan to Tollgate is expected to be taken up by the State Highways only after completion of the work on laying pipelines.

The work on laying underground sewerage pipelines would be taken up in the extension areas, viz., the erstwhile Sathuvachari and Tharapadavedu Municipalities, the erstwhile town panchayats of Allapuram, Thorappadi, Kazhinjur, Gandhinagar, Katpadi and Shenbakkam and the erstwhile village panchayats of Konavattam, Virudhambut, Kangeyanallur, Alamelumangapuram, Viruppakshipuram, Palavansathu, Idayansathu and Ariyur under Phase II.

The Corporation has engaged Voyants, a Chennai-based company, for the preparation of a detailed project report for Phase II. While the interim report gives a preliminary estimate of Rs.700 crore for undertaking the work in the extension areas, the final report is expected to give the detailed final estimate. “The survey has been completed, and the final report would be ready in March,” the official said.