ECR widening expected to be completed by mid 2022

1.5 km road at Palavakkam is witnessing action

June 21, 2021 09:24 pm | Updated 09:24 pm IST

A project announced in 2005 to widen the urban stretch of the East Coast Road from Akkarai to Thiruvanmiyur has finally taken off.

A 1.5 km road at Palavakkam is witnessing action with the Highways Department demolishing encroachments, removing structures from patta lands and is constructing stormwater drains wherever they have clear land.

A source in the department said though they had made much progress in 2019 in acquiring the land, it came to a halt last year with many of those involved in the project affected by COVID-19.

“Even now the Revenue Department officials are unable to convene meetings or call people to hand over cheques for disbursing their due compensation. But since we don’t want the progress we made to be lost, we are working with whatever space we have,” the source explained.

By August or September, the department hopes to call for tenders for other reaches and by mid 2022 complete the entire 11 km stretch.

Another official said that two more projects — a flyover at Thiruvanmiyur and another at Akkarai — depended on the completion of this project. “Since it is a thickly-populated area with hundreds of commercial establishments, it took time. In many cases the original owners had sold off their properties during this period, which meant that the entire process of verification of deeds and pattas had to be done once again,” he explained.

Though construction cost would be ₹15 per kilometer including the drains and median, land acquisition had touched around ₹500 crore due to the time taken.

M. Kandasamy, a resident of Neelankarai, said he was glad to see the road being widened after such a long time. He, however, urged the government and traffic police to ensure proper facilities are provided for pedestrians and two-wheeler users. “If roads are wide people tend to over-speed. There should be checks in place for this, as otherwise it would lead to accidents,” he said.

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