Corporation to acquire land worth ₹2,829 crore for road widening

Project proposal sent to government is awaiting clearance

Updated - June 27, 2018 07:59 am IST

Published - June 27, 2018 01:09 am IST - Chennai

The Chennai Corporation will acquire land worth ₹2,829 crore from residents for widening of roads in congested parts of the city.

The land to be acquired is estimated at 18.8 lakh sq ft, which is around 786 grounds.

The civic body has sent a proposal to the government for compensating residents who will lose their land for the project. But the government is yet to give its nod for the project as the cost of land acquisition has increased.

After the civic body announced the project, residents started forming associations to demand monetary compensation from the government for parcels of land identified for acquisition.

“We were planning to give them Transfer of Development Rights. But residents of Kaliamman Koil Street have rejected it. So we have been able to do work on just 700m on Kaliamman Koil Street,” said an official. The cost of land acquisition for Kaliamman Koil Street has increased to ₹471 crore for 3.14 lakh sq ft of land.

The cost of land acquisition will be the highest for Arcot Road, where residents will have to be paid ₹481 crore as compensation, excluding the value of the buildings to be demolished along the 4.7-km stretch. At least, 3.21 lakh sq ft of land will be acquired from residents along the Arcot Road for widening the stretch from 17 m to 30.5 m. The cost will also be high along the Sardar Patel Road, Dr. Muthulakshmi Salai in Adyar, Perambur Barracks Road, Sembium-Red Hills Road and Santhome High Road.

However, the cost will be less along Nelson Manickam Road, Strahans Road, Kalki Krishnamurthy Road in Thiruvanmiyur, Paper Mills Road, Kodambakkam Road, Jayaraman Street and Mosque Street in Kodambakkam. “Widening of Jayaraman Street could be done by paying just ₹36.64 crore to residents who own 24,434 sq ft of land,” said an official.

Bridges plan on hold

Meanwhile, the Chennai Smart City Limited has put on hold a proposal to develop two bridges across Anna Salai. At a board meeting on Tuesday, the proposal to develop a bridge connecting Thyeagaraya Road and Eldams Road was not cleared. Another bridge connecting Thanikachalam Road and Chamiers Road (Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar Salai) was also not cleared. “They have put the projects on hold,” said an official.

Many urban planning experts have opposed the move to use smart city funds for infrastructure projects that has nothing to do with the Smart City Mission. “The mission was meant to be innovative. But the funds are spent for a different purpose. People expected great things from Smart City Mission. But the programme has failed to achieve the goal,” said N.Mathavan, urban planning expert.

On Tuesday, just 12 of the 16 subjects were cleared by the Chennai Smart City Limited.

The projects cleared include enhancement of footpaths along 10 roads in T.Nagar, modernisation of Kannamapet Burial Ground, digital experience centre, stormwater drains near T.Nagar, shifting of Tangedco utilities along the Pedestrian Plaza, improving access to Marina and Eliots beaches.

The highest amount to be spent will be on developing missing links for stormwater drains around T.Nagar, which has been identified for Area Based Development. Stormwater drains will be developed at an estimated cost of ₹199 crore.

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