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Collector: no objection to revised alignment for semi-ring road

The road ahead:A view of the unfinished bypass road between Tiruchi-Madurai National Highway and Tiruchi-Karur National Highway in Tiruchi

There has been no objection to the revised alignment of the bypass road between Tiruchi-Madurai National Highway and Tiruchi-Karur National Highway, and the proposal will now be sent to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for clearance.

Disclosing this to reporters here on Tuesday, Collector K. Rajamani pointed out that a public hearing was held on the revised alignment as minor changes had to be made in the plan for land acquisition.

“No objection was raised at the hearing held recently and the locals were in favour of laying the road,” he said.

Once the proposal for the revised alignment is submitted by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), MoEF clearance was expected within 30-45 days. This would be followed by the land acquisition process and subsequently tenders will be called for.

“We expect these processes to be completed within the next three months after which the work will start,” Mr. Rajamani said.

The section between Panchapur on Tiruchi-Madurai NH and near Jeeyapuram on Tiruchi-Karur NH would form part of a semi-ring road that is coming up, connecting almost all major national highways around the city.

Construction of the bypass road section 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 across the tanks, would affect irrigation and their livelihood.

The project was originally taken up as part of widening of the NH 67 executed on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis by NHAI. The project ran into controversy over its alignment and land acquisition issues in 2006-07. The court had subsequently directed NHAI to lay the bypass road without affecting irrigation sources.

Mr. Rajamani also said NHAI was in talks with the contractor for resumption of construction of the by-pass between Mathur on Tiruchi-Karaikudi NH and Panchapur on the Tiruchi-Madurai NH, which is the other segment of the semi-ring road. The contractor was reportedly seeking approval for revised estimates in view of the time overrun. If the issue was not settled through talks and went for arbitration, then fresh tenders would be called for building the section of the road, he indicated.

Kallikudi market

Answering a query, Mr. Rajamani said that nearly 95% of the verification process of the applications received from traders of Gandhi Market for allotment of shops at the Central Market for Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers at Kallikudi was completed.

The list of traders elegible for allocation at the new market would be finalised within a couple of days. Once the list was ready, the traders would be invited for a draw of lots for allotment of 330 shops at the market. The process would be completed soon, he said.

About 1,700 applications were received for allotment of shops in the new market.


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