The Tamil Nadu government on Friday announced major initiatives to decongest increasing traffic within Chennai and on roads to and out of the State capital. It has planned to expand roads, construct elevated corridors and grade separators in this regard.
While presenting the budget for 2022-23 in the Assembly, Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said: “The government is committed to reviving and implementing the Maduravoyal - Chennai Port elevated corridor project, which is vital to the commercial development of Chennai.”
A 20.6 km-long double-decker elevated corridor at an estimated cost of ₹5,770 crore would be constructed. A detailed project report was under preparation by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). “To implement this project, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NHAI, the Government of Tamil Nadu, the Navy and Chennai Port will be signed soon,” the Minister said.
It was necessary to widen the four-lane road up to Akkarai as a six-lane road to decongest the traffic on the East Coast Road, Mr. Rajan said and added: “The sanction for widening the Thiruvanmiyur, Kottivakkam and Palavakkam stretches has already been granted. The remaining stretches covering Neelangarai, Injambakkam and Sholinganallur villages will be widened to six-lanes at a cost of ₹135 crore.”
The bottlenecks in handing over the East Coast Road beyond Mamallapuram to NHAI had been addressed and the work of widening it into a four-lane road would begin soon, he said.
Kattupakkam junction was the meeting point of arterial roads like Chennai–Chittoor-Bengaluru Road, Mount-Poonamallee-Avadi Road and Poonamallee-Kunrathur-Pallavaram Road. “To alleviate the traffic congestion at this junction, grade separator with elevated rotary will be constructed at the Kattupakkam junction at an estimated cost of ₹322 crore. As the first step in this regard, a detailed project report will be prepared this year.”
A sum of ₹2,250 crore had been allotted towards Chennai Peripheral Ring Road Project, ₹1,200 crore towards Chennai-Kanniyakumari Industrial Corridor Project with Asian Development Bank’s assistance and ₹628 crore towards Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project-II in the budget estimates, he said.
During monsoons, causeways got inundated and this led to disruption of traffic for many days. “Considering this, it is planned to convert such causeways, which affect people during flood, into high-level bridges by 2026. Based on this, high-level bridge works to the tune of ₹1,000 crore will be taken up in the coming year,” Mr. Rajan said.