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All set for bypass road work

Even as the new Collector has expressed keenness to pursue some of the long-pending infrastructure projects in the city, the National Highways Authority of India is awaiting environmental clearance to resume construction of the bypass road connecting Tiruchi-Madurai and Tiruchi-Karur national highways.

Collector K.Rajamani, who took charge last month, in a recent interaction with media had said that steps would be taken to execute some of the pending projects including this outer ring road. The road, a semi-ring road around Tiruchi, would substantially reduce traffic congestion in the city. The total length of the bypass road was around 17 km.

However, NHAI sources indicated that a decision on the environmental clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest is expected soon and once the clearance was obtained the work would resume.

The bypass road, which would run from Panchapur on NH45 via Thayanur to Jeeyapuram on NH 67, had remained unfinished for the past few years. The NHAI, the executing agency, had sought fresh environmental clearance from the Union Ministry for the revised alignment after the Public Works Department gave its consent for the revised alignment of the road last year. According to NHAI sources, the application was expected to come up for discussion at the expert appraisal committee after which a decision would be known.

The project was taken up as part of widening of the NH 67 executed on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. The project ran into controversy over its alignment and land acquisition issues since 2006-07. The project was halted midway in 2010 after the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, while hearing a petition from farmers’ organisations, struck down the NHAI’s plan to lay the road across Kothamangalam, Kallikudi and Punganur tanks.

The farmers had complained that the road if built cross the tanks would affect irrigation and their livelihood. The court had subsequently directed the NHAI to lay the bypass road without affecting irrigation sources.

The NHAI had sought the environment clearance for the revised alignment finalised after a public hearing held by the district administration. Farmers organisations have also been demanding the laying of the road expeditiously on the revised alignment.


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