TAMIL NADU

Rs.1,402 crore for four-lane on Vikkiravandi-Thanjavur highway

The National Highways Department has sanctioned Rs.1,402 crore for laying four-lane on the national highway from Vikkiravandi to Thanjavur, said S. S. Palani Manickam, Union Minister of State for Finance, here on Friday.

He told reporters that the works would be taken up after tenders were finalised.

The project would be carried out under Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (BDFOT) for a distance of 164.22 km. The works would be completed within 27 months, and toll could be collected for 27 years, he said.

For land acquisition and rehabilitation of displaced people, a sum of Rs.302.50 crore would be spent.

The Minister said a proposal for modernising the Grand Anicut Canal in the second phase at a sum of Rs.250 crore is pending with the State government.

The first phase of renovation was funded by NABARD to the tune of Rs.234 crore, and works had been carried out for three years.

If the second phase was completed, the irrigation and drainage system would be improved.

"If the State government sends the proposal to the Central government, NABARD will release the fund under its rural infrastructure development fund," he said.

Railway Board has given sanction for gauge conversion of Tiruvarur-Karaikudi and Thiruthuraipoondi-Agastyampalli sections covering a total distance of 186.22 – between Tiruvarur and Karaikudi 149.42 km and between Thiruthuraipoondi and Agastyampalli 36.80 km.

The works would be completed in four phases – Karaikudi-Pattukottai (73 km) by September 2014, Pattukottai-Thiruthuraipoondi (49 km) by March 2014, Thiruthuraipoondi-Agasthiyamalli (37 km) by September 2016, and Tiruvarur-Thiruthuraipoondi (20 km) by September 2016.

The Minister said Southern Railway authorities have assured him to open a second ticket counter at Thanjavur junction.

Work on the railway road overbridge on Thanjavur-Pattukottai road would be expedited. He said that he would take up the issue of operating a direct express train from Thanjavur to Chennai with the Railway Ministry.

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