CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, during the past one year, has announced many major initiatives for improving the road connectivity to all parts of the State. The Vision 2023 documents released by her a couple of months ago gives a larger picture of her vision for ensuring world-class connectivity to all the residents of Tamil Nadu irrespective of their economic status.
The Vision 2023 envisages 2,000 km of 6-8 lane expressways, 5000 km of four-lane highways, and double-laned highways throughout the State with paved shoulders. Another major initiative is enhancement of 2,000 km of roads into 6/8 lane expressway corridors between Chennai and major towns. Besides, the Vision Document also promises modernisation of State highways covering 5,000 km of four lane highways and conversion of other State highways and other highways of 16,000 km length to two lane roads with paved shoulders.
But, even before the announcement of the CM, the State has been already marching towards realising the objectives of the Vision 2023. Major announcements made by Jayalalithaa during the past one year bear testimony to this.
On September 7, 2011, the CM announced various projects for upgrading road infrastructure in Tamil Nadu at a cost of `1,200 crore. The projects include extension of the East Coast Road from Chennai to Tuticorin upto Kanyakumari at a cost of `257 crore and by-pass roads for Sivaganga and Edappadi at a cost of `1 crore and construction of many new bridges across the State.
Jayalalithaa had said that the ECR between Chennai and Tuticorin was upgraded on many stages with financial assistance from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank. However, there has been a long-pending demand by the people of southern districts that the ECR should be extended upto Kanyakumari district.
On January 23, 2012, in a move aimed at decongesting traffic in Chennai metropolitan city, she gave administrative sanction for laying the second phase of Outer Ring Road (32 km) connecting south and northern suburbs - Tiruvotriyur-Ponneri-Minjur at an estimated cost of `1,075 crore.
The works of first phase of the Outer Ring Road (29.65 km) connecting Vandalur-Nazarethpet-Nemilicherry at an expenditure of `1,081.40 crore will be completed by November this year.
On January 26, 2012, Jayalalithaa sanctioned ` 152.78 crore for acquiring lands for laying by-pass roads for 11 towns in Tamil Nadu to ease congestion along these towns.
On May 9, 2012, she announced that the project report for laying Chennai Peripheral Road connecting Ennore port and Mahabalipuram at a cost of `1,420 crore would be prepared soon. The 162-km long CPR would pass through Singaperumal Koil, Sriperumbudur, Tiruvallur, Thamaraipakkam, Periyapalayam, Puduvayal and conclude at Kattupalli.
The Highways Department has taken up various works to the tune of `9771 crore for implementation during 2011-12. To provide better connectivity in Chennai Metropolitan Area, Metro wing of the department has taken up development works of 62 Roads and 21 bridges. The work of widening the bridge across river Cooum in Periyar EVR Salai at km 6/6 of gwt road has been completed at a cost of `6.91 crores. Under Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project III (TNUDP - III), two road works were completed at a cost of `13.87 crore.