Work on the 19 kilometre long elevated corridor from Chennai port to
Madurvoyal stalled by former chief minister Jayalalitha is expected to resume
by middle of 2018 as the Consultant appointed by the National Highway Authority
of India has started preparation of the revised project report.
Sources said the revised project report will be completed in four months
and the project cost is expected to more than double from the estimated Rs 1815
crores. Once the project is taken up by the middle of next year, it will be
completed by the end of 2020.
The project lifeline for the two container terminals in Chennai port will
help the swift evacuation of containers from the port to the national high way
linking Chennai with Kolktata within 25 minutes.
A senior official of the port said Chennai port had the capacity to handle
130 million tonnes but is handlling hardly fifty million tonnes due to problems
in evacuation of cargo. The elevated corridor project is therefore a life line
for the Chennai port.
The revised DPR be based on the report submitted by a technical committee
which went into the issue of reservations expressed by the Tamil nadu
government over the design of the project. For instance it has suggested the
modification to take the alignment to the edge of the Cooum river instead of
the river bed.
The consultant will study of the conditions of the already erected pillars
along the 19 kilometer corridor. The technical committee had suggested that
single pillars be constructed for reminder of the project that would help to
decongest Poonamalle high road.
Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari when he was in the city last month had
announced that project work will resume in four months. The HHAI is working
towards that goal. Funds for the project will be allotted by the shipping
ministry once the revised DPR is ready which includes the cost estimate.
Work on the project which commenced in 2009 was proceeding smoothly for
three years when the new government under Jayalalitha stalled it on
environmental grounds. Work on the crucial project for the Chennai port
remained standstill for nearly seven years. If the original schedule had been
adhered to, the project would have been commissioned by now and Chennai port
would have been in a much better position in the handling of containers.
Though the Chennai port was a pioneer having started the container cargo
movment way back in 1980's it is now behind JNPT, Mundra and Visakhapatnam
Mr Gadkari had announced the extension of the elevated corridor project
from Madurvoyal to Sriperumpudur to facilitate swift movement of containers to
Coimbatore and Bengaluru.