Land acquisition delays construction of bridge in Puducherry

The Thirukanchi flyover in Puducherry, being constructed by the Public Works Department remains half completed due to delay in land acquisition.

The Thirukanchi flyover in Puducherry, being constructed by the Public Works Department remains half completed due to delay in land acquisition.   | Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar

Work on the ₹27.13-crore facility across Sankarabarani river in Thirukanchi should have been completed by 2017

More than five years after construction of the bridge across the Sankarabarani river in Thirukanchi near Villianur commenced, the project has been progressing at a snail’s pace due to delay in land acquisition.

Work on the ₹27.13-crore bridge began in 2014 and was aimed at facilitating smooth flow of traffic heading towards Cuddalore via Abhishegapakkam.

However, the project has missed several deadlines forcing motorists to take a detour.

“The project should have been completed in 2017, but the construction is progressing slowly and only about 70% of the work has been completed because of the delay in land acquisition for laying the link road. The landowners are yet to let go of their property without being compensated and are at loggerheads with the Public Works Department and the Revenue Department. Private owners demand that compensation be paid in cash and as per the current market value of the property,” said an official.

The delay in land acquisition has resulted in the project being in limbo for the last two years. One portion of the land is with the management of a temple while the remaining is held by private parties. Talks are under way to end the impasse and complete the project at the earliest, he said.

According to A. Arasu Kumar, a resident, “For the last six months, there seems to be very little progress in the work, and the construction of the bridge has been left midway many times after it resumed. Traffic diversion at Arumparthapuram for vehicles going from Moolakulam to Villianur into narrow streets of residential areas has damaged the interior roads and is resulting in piling up of traffic.”

The district administration has taken steps to conduct a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study prior to acquisition of land for the proposed link road for the bridge connecting Odiampet and Thirukanchi villages as mandated under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The process has already begun and the administration has constituted a two-member team to conduct the study.

Detailed assessment

The team will hold consultations with stakeholders and make a detailed assessment and analysis of all relevant land records and data.

The Social Impact Assessment would determine the area of impact under the proposed project, including land to be acquired and the area that will be affected by environmental, social or other aspects of the project.

It takes around 30 minutes during rush hour for motorists to cross the stretch from Mettupalayam to Arumparthapuram.

On completion, the bridge is expected to save both time and fuel for incoming motorists and those bound for Moolakulam, Odiampet, Abhishegapakkam and Cuddalore.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:22:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/land-acquisition-delays-construction-of-bridge-in-puducherry/article30778180.ece

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