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Resumption of work on the Chennai port Madurvoyal corridor is expected by middle of 2018

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 ports.

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.


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