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Structures on acquired land cleared for road widening

Deepa H Ramakrishnan
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Demolition on Tiruvottiyur High Road to go on for another week

Structures being demolished recently by the Highways Department to widen a five-km stretch of Tiruvottiyur High Road.— Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam
Structures being demolished recently by the Highways Department to widen a five-km stretch of Tiruvottiyur High Road.— Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

: The Highways Department has begun demolishing structures on land that it had acquired for widening the Tiruvottiyur High Road.

The demolition and clearing of the debris, for the widening work in a 5 km long stretch, began a few days ago and will be on for another week.

Hundreds of petty shops and commercial establishments dot either side of the congested portion of the two-lane road from Tollgate to Ernavur Bridge.

The Department has estimated that it would require 10,770.4 sq m of patta and poromboke lands to upgrade the road, an important link in north Chennai, in to a four-lane facility. The widening work commenced in 2008, but soon faced obstacles in the form of delay in land acquisition and shifting of utilities by various service providers.

60% compensation paid

Officials of the department said that already over 60 per cent of the compensation amount of Rs.15 crore had been paid to the land owners and the rest would be cleared soon.

Meanwhile, traders of Theradi area had already demolished portions of their shops as they have already received their compensation.

“Though we are losing space to run our business, we resorted to the move as in this way we can carefully undertake the partial demolition and also plan the new construction wherever necessary,” said a trader.

Stormwater drains would be constructed after the buildings on the sides are removed.

Already around Rs.1 crore has been deposited with the TANGEDCO for shifting 159 lamp posts and 20 transformers.

So far 47 lamp posts have only been shifted.

V.Venmathi, a resident of Radhakrishnan Nagar, said that stormwater drains were necessary for the road as it gets flooded every monsoon. Officials, according to her, had told the residents that SWD would not be constructed as Tiruvottiyur was at a lower level than the sea and water would have to be pumped out, which was not possible.

Former Chairman of Tiruvottiyur Municipality, R. Jayaraman, said since the Ennore Expressway is also being widened two additional lanes would suffice for Tiruvottiyur High Road.

“We have been waiting for five years to see the widening of the road. Work has been proceeding at a very slow pace. We hope that the present administration would speed up the work and complete it at least before the next monsoon.”

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