Chennai East Coast Road: Much-Delayed Project To Expand 11 Km Stretch Of ECR From Thiruvanmiyur To Akkarai Finally Gathers Pace

Snapshot

A long-delayed project that aims to widen an 11 km stretch between Thiruvanmiyur To Akkarai in East Coast Road that runs along Chennai’s coastline has gathered pace.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) also recently announced that it will resume work on expanding to four lane the 105km stretch of the East Coast Road (ECR) between Mahabalipuram and Puducherry.

 

A long-delayed project that aims to widen an 11 km stretch between Thiruvanmiyur To Akkarai in East Coast Road(ECR) that runs along Chennai’s coastline has gathered pace, with the state highways department floating a tender to expand the stretch near Kottivakkam at ₹14.8 crore, The Economic Times reported.

The picturesque ECR is an important road corridor in Tamil Nadu connecting Chennai with Cuddalore through Puducherry. The road was formed in 1998 by interlinking and improving a series of small village roads that were connecting the fishing villages along the coast of Bay of Bengal.

Announced with much fanfare in 2005 and delayed due to land acquisition challenges, the highway department hopes to complete the entire 11 km stretch with most of the challenges addressed.

The state highways department is hoping to complete the process of calling tenders for other stretches in the next couple of months.

The construction cost component of the road expansion project of the complete stretch is expected to cost ₹135 crore. The land acquisition cost is estimated to be around ₹500 crore

The delay in completion of the road expansion project has stalled the launch of two proposed flyover projects in the stretch — one at Thiruvanmiyur and another at Akkarai.

The state highway department has reportedly acquired most of the land required for road expansion in the 1.5 km stretch of ECR in Palavakkam. The department is demolishing encroachments, removing structures from patta lands and has commenced construction of stormwater drains.

ECR Connectivity From Mamallapuram To Puducherry

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) recently announced that it will resume work on expanding to four lanes the 105km stretch of the ECR between Mahabalipuram and Puducherry.

In a bid to improve the road connectivity to Puducherry, the Union government in 2018 proposed to widen the 107-km stretch from Mahabalipuram to Puducherry under the Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I (Highways project). The Union Government also allocated Rs 3,000 crore for the project.

NHAI even prepared a DPR (detailed project report) in 2019 and invited bids for widening the ECR to four-lane in two packages, including a package to a four-lane the 61.4 km stretch between Mahabalipuram and Marakkanam at the cost of Rs 1209 crore.

However, the expansion project was stalled as there was a huge delay from the state government in handing over the stretch to NHAI for upgradation work.

Despite the State Government giving an ‘in-principle approval’ in 2019 for transferring the 61.4 km ECR stretch between Mahabalipuram and Marakkanam to NHAI for widening it into four-lane, there was no progress on the project.

Tamil Nadu Road Development Company (TNRDC), an entity under State Highways that developed ECR between Akkarai and Puducherry, had sought compensation from the State government for settling the bank loans before transferring the road to NHAI. TNRDC demanded Rs 222 crore compensation for handing over the required land. The organisation also sought further compensation for revenue lost once the toll plaza on the stretch was handed over to NHAI.

The issue was finally resolved in April this year, with TNRDC officials confirming the state government had agreed to help them meet the liabilities.