TAMIL NADU

Mayor resents rly. officials' attitude

TIRUCHI, NOV. 29 . The Tiruchi Mayor, Sarubala R.Tondaiman, has expressed dismay over the "non-cooperative" attitude of railway authorities in Chennai towards providing a piece of the railway land for expansion of the Central Bus Stand in the city.

Though the railways had agreed to provide 1.16 hectares of its land adjoining the bus stand for a total compensation of Rs.5.66 crores, it was now demanding Rs.8.64 crores for the land at the current market rate. The issue had been a subject of protracted negotiations between the civic body and the railways over the past few years.

An agreement was hammered out between Corporation and railway officials, in the presence of the former Railway Minister, Nitish Kumar, during his visit to the city over a year ago, fixing the total compensation at Rs.5.66 crores. However, the railway officials subsequently demanded fixation of the land value at the current market rate.

The Corporation had written to the railways, stating that it could not afford to pay Rs.8.64 crores and insisted that the land be given at the value agreed on before, the Mayor said in an informal chat with mediapersons here today.

Mrs.Tondaiman said she had met the Union Railway Minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav, and other senior railway officials and they had, in principle, agreed to the transaction. However, the railway authorities at Chennai were yet to forward relevant papers to the Railway Board, which has to take a final decision, she said.

Answering a query, she said the Corporation had written to the district administration, seeking acquisition of about 43 acres of land at Devadhanam on the Chennai bypass road for the establishment of an integrated bus stand.

Bridge to be widened

Mrs.Tondaiman said the Corporation had decided to widen the road overbridge across the Uyyakondan river near the MGR statue at Cantonment in the city at a cost of Rs. 85 lakhs.

The narrow bridge has turned a traffic bottleneck, especially during rush hours in view of the huge volume of traffic passing over it. The work would be taken up soon, Mrs. Tondaiman said.

Meanwhile, a detailed project report on the construction of a new bridge across the river, connecting the Anna Nagar main road and the district court complex, was also under preparation. The bridge would come up as part of an inner link road to be laid at an estimated cost of Rs.3.20 crores. The road would provide an important alternative road to ease the congestion in the Thillai-Nagar and Puthur areas.

The Department of Town and Country Planning had, in principle, agreed to provide Rs.40 lakhs from its Seed Capital Fund for the project, while the Local Planning Authority would contribute Rs.80 lakhs. The Corporation would contribute Rs.80 lakhs from its general funds and raise the remaining Rs.1.20 crores as loans from the Tamil Nadu from financial agencies.

The Mayor said that the Government had granted administrative sanction for the construction of a modern commercial complex at Yanaikulam at Singarathope at an estimated cost of Rs.7.68 crores. The Corporation was now awaiting technical sanction for the project. The TUFIDCO had agreed to extend financial assistance for the project.

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