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Stalemate over land transfer stalls Trichy Jn RoB work

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Trichy: The deadlock in completing the work of one of the six arms of the Trichy junction road over bridge (RoB), for which work started four years ago, continues as the authorities are yet to find a solution in acquiring the required defence land. It seems that no breakthrough has been achieved between the state highways department and Union defence ministry in completing the project, which is aimed at easing the traffic woes of the city.

Trichy junction RoB was proposed by state highways department in 2011 with six arms - Chennai, Madurai, Railway junction, Central bus stand, Dindigul, and a stretch connecting RoB. The RoB was designed to redirect incoming vehicles heading to other districts without entering the city. Hurdles in land transfer between the state highways, Railways, and defence ministry have delayed the work, but except Chennai arm all arms were completed in June 2018 and subsequently opened for traffic in July 2018.

The most vital Chennai arm remains half-way to completion owing to a stalemate in land transfer between the highways department and the defence ministry. About 0.6 acre of defence land in Mannarpuram is essential for completing the work, and no major breakthrough in acquiring the land was made in the past one year. "Elected representatives are not interested in raising their voice for completing the pending infrastructure projects in the city. The interests of Trichy are side-lined as we can evidently see it in the case of the RoB," said V B Jeganath, member, Trichy Intra-City Development Endeavours (TIDES).

Sources said that the defence ministry has turned down the money offered by the state government as compensation to the land and instead sought land either at St Thomas Mount or Pallavaram in Chennai. Since an equivalent portion of land has to be provided, officials voiced the difficulty in identifying such a large stretch of land in Chennai. "Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who hails from Tamil Nadu and studied in Trichy, could help complete the RoB to decongest the city," K Suresh, urban district secretary of CPI said.

The residents by and large have also criticised the elected representatives for not taking any decisive step towards completing the RoB. "We have constraints in identifying land in Chennai as compensation to the defence land in Mannarpuram. The process is still under way," a senior official with the highways department said. The highways department has asserted that once the required land was acquired, pending work to complete the arm would be completed in 90 days.


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