Four months have passed since the Tamil Nadu government gave the no
objection certificate to the realigned corridor, the National Highway Authority
of India is yet to appoint a consultant to prepare the Detailed Project Report
for the modified project.
The resumption of the project is yet to cross several hurdles, is likely to
be delayed indefinitely will not take place by the beginning of next year as
announced earlier according to official sources.
The downgraded office of the NHAI in Chennai which has suffered substantial
losses due to stoppage of work for the past four years is understood to be not
so keen on early resumption of work going by the pace of work during the last
Even if the consultant is appointed today it would take him at least a few
months to prepare the project report.
Now that the existing contractor has walked out of the project citing
indefinite delays, a new arrangement need to be forged for financing and
implementing the project. It cannot be the old Build operate transfer model any
more according to a Chennai Port Official.
A Special Purpose Vehicle need to be constituted involving the NHAI,
Chennai Port and the Tamil Nadu government for funding and implementing the
All these developments need a high profile office of the NHAI in Chennai
but its office has been recently downgraded.
The Corridor project was inaugurated way back in 2009 on BOT model and
thirty per cent of the work was completed. When Late Jayalalitha became the
Chief Minister in 2011, she ordered the stoppage of work on environmental
She did not relent even when the Madras High Court ordered the resumption
of the project. The new government in the state agreed to resume the project
with some modifications in March this year.
The 19 kilometer elevated corridor project will ensure smooth movement of
containers from Chennai Port's gate number Ten to Maduravoyal. The project was
estimated to cost Rs 1800 crores but with the suspension of work by the then TN
government, officials expect substantial increase in Project cost. The contractor
has since walked out of the project and hence a new arrangement needs to be
forged to take it forward.