Centre nods to highway and shipping projects worth over Rs 1 lakh crore for Tamil Nadu

Centre nods to highway and shipping projects worth over Rs 1 lakh crore for Tamil Nadu

November 24, 2017: The road transport and shipping ministry has given a nod for highways and shipping projects in Tamil Nadu costing more than Rs 1 lakh crore. The projects, once completed, would help decongest high traffic corridors in and around Chennai and will also enhance port connectivity. The projects are also likely to find a permanent solution to the irrigation and drinking water requirements of the state.

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping Nitin Gadkari announced the approval of 40,000 crore rupees worth of road and highway projects with details of the financial outlay.

Focussing on the decongestion of Chennai traffic, Gadkari said three new elevated corridors have been approved first being the Tambaram- Chengelpatu at a cost of Rs 2250 crores, Poonamalee- Maduravoyal Corridor with an outlay of Rs 1500 crores and the Tiruvallur Corridor budgeted at Rs 1000 crore. He also said that Tambaram- Vandalur, Vandalur -Guduvanchery section of the highway will be upgraded to 8 lane Highway with a budget of Rs 72 crores which will also solve the traffic congestion at the Tambaram -Perungalathur bridge.

The Chennai- Bengaluru Expressway is being taken at a projected cost of Rs 20,000 crore and will boost industrialisation and development activities along the express way. The minister requested the state Government to earnestly take up land acquisition, shifting of utilities to help timely starting of the project.

Gadkari also stated that to ease the congestion in the extended suburban areas of Chennai, approval has been given for six laning of the Koyambedu- Poonamalee -Wallajahpet road at a cost of Rs 1500 crores.

Listing the new projects to be awarded this year, Gadkari said Tiruchi-Chidambaram Highway project is being taken up with a budgeted outlay of Rs 4000 crore, while the Villupuram- Nagapattinam section is being upgraded at a cost of Rs 6000 crore. Other projects to be approved include Chennai- TADA (Rs 500 crore). 

Elaborating on the Bharatmala project that links port terminals to the hinterland, he said six projects are being taken up, the major one being Nagapattinam to Tuticorin (355 kilometre), Madurai-Kollam (62 kilometre) Vellakoil-Erode (71 kilometre), Madurai-Natham (38 kilometre), Madurai –Theni (44 kilometre) and Musiri -Namakkal (44 kilometre). Along with these, the ring road development will be taken up in Madurai, Tiruchi and Salem.

Rs 2000 crore has also been sanctioned to the state PWD to develop the Dindigul-Kottampati road into a National Highway. 1300 kilometre of state highways are being upgraded to national highways in the state. The state highways being upgraded include Perambalur- Attur (55 kilometre), Salem-Vanniyampadi (141 kilometre), Thoppur-Mettur-Erode (85 kilometre),Tirupur-Ottanchatiram (91 kilometre).

In a bid to, reduce traffic accidents, the centre is funding Rs 2300 crore to take preventive measures in 61 identified black spots where frequent accidents take place.

On the Shipping front, the minister said Tamil Nadu is only state with three major ports and these would be enhanced to facilitate exports and industrialisation, and value addition under the Sagarmala programme.

Coal movement from Orissa through Paradip to Ennore and Tuticorin will significantly reduce the logistics cost of coal. He hoped to improve the coal handling productivity in all three ports. Coastal movement of petroleum products, LPG and automobiles is the lifeline of the industry of Tamil Nadu. Referring to Tuticorin port, Gadkari said the depth is to be increased from the present 14 metre to 16.5 metre at a cost of Rs 3000 crore and this would help the port to handle 1,30,000 tonnage vessels from the present capacity of 60,000 tonnage ships. This would reduce the logistic cost by 30 percent.

He said coastal movement of containers from Chennai to Puducherry will commence soon and this would reduce the congestion on this road sector.

Coastal berths are being built at Cuddalore at a cost of Rs 115 crore and similar facilities are coming at Chennai and Tuticorin ports.

The minister also informed that the government has taken up the interlinking of river projects and has given priority to the water scare in southern states. Water resources ministry has therefore decided on transfer of surplus Godavari river waters to the Cauvery via the Krishna and Pennar rivers. He said a meeting of the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu will be convened soon to discuss the project.  Initially about 300 thousand million cubic feet of water is proposed to be lifted from Godavari river upstream of Pollavaram project and would be released into the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam on River Krishna. Further the water would be taken from Krishna upto Somasilam project on river Pennar and from there to Grand Annaicut on the Cauvery.