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Six-laning work comes to a halt

Aloysius Xavier Lopez
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Following the termination of a tender for widening the Taramani Link Road

Work on six-laning of Taramani Link Road, which connects Velachery with Rajiv Gandhi Salai, has come to a halt with the termination of one of the two tenders awarded by the Highways Department for widening and strengthening of the road.

The decision to terminate the tender was made following the failure of the contractor to complete the project on time. The Highways Department would call for short tender to complete the work in three months.

The tender for the other side of the road was re-awarded a few months ago but road-laying work has not made any progress because of the delay in completion of the drain work by the Public Works Department.

The PWD has been able to complete a 400-metre stretch of drain along the right side of the road and the remaining length of 3,250 metre of the drain would be completed by December 2012. The entire work would be completed by March 2013.

The project, which is important for improving connectivity between Velachery and Rajiv Gandhi Salai, was originally scheduled to get over in March 2011. The work order was issued in February 2009.

The Highways Department would be able to complete the road widening work only after completion of the drain work. Construction of 500-metre-long drain every two months has been fixed as the target for the PWD to facilitate the gradual completion of the road work.

The features of the project which is being executed at a cost of Rs.33 crore include bus bays, dedicated cycle track and stormwater drains.

The work is part of the comprehensive urban transportation project of the Chennai Metropolitan Area undertaken by the State government with World Bank assistance, under Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project III (TNUDP-III).

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has already requested the World Bank, which is funding the project, for extension of the deadline for completion by two years.

A decision on the extension of the deadline would be communicated to the CMDA next week. An encroachment eviction drive on the road would also begin next week. The delay in completion of the project is posing considerable hardship to the road-users, particularly after it rains.

While one side of the road is wide, the other is narrow. Ahead of the local body elections, patchwork was undertaken on the narrow portion of the road. But the recent rains have resulted in all of it getting washed away. The road has lot of potholes and many stretches are under sheets of water, posing risks to the users and causing damage to the vehicles.

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