According to a NHAI official, the project was delayed after being hit by land acquisition hurdles, which effectively shelved it for nearly seven years.
“But now, the NHAI will not deal with the issue, as the State authorities have promised to negotiate with the landowners and help us in carrying forward the project,” said the official.
The six-lane project was proposed at an estimated cost of Rs 253 crores, and the foundation stone for the project was laid out at Thiruchanakuppam near Tiruvottiyur. But that was seven years ago, in 2011.
“We were ready to give them Rs 3 or 4 lakh, but the owners failed to settle for the compensation we proposed. They were demanding for more, Rs 5 lakh, resulting in project cost escalating phenomenally. But now they are unwilling to settle for anything less than around Rs 10 lakh,” he said.
The revival of the Chennai Ennore Port Road Connectivity Project – earlier known as Ennore-Manali Road Improvement Project – is one of the key developments in the recent past, after the Chennai Port – Maduravoyal, too, has been revived. In addition, Chennai-Tirupathi highway and Chittoor to Thathcur road are also being brought back to life.
The 18.4 km link road would facilitate the smooth flow of cargo movement from Chennai Port. The severe congestion at the port and the north Chennai region has had an effect on its operations, as exporters began eyeing other facilities, including the private ports. The effect has been visible over the years. For instance, the cargo volume handled by the port in 2015-16 stood at 50.06 million tonnes, while it was 52.54 million tonnes in the previous year.
The container volume increased to 1565130 TEU’s against 1551549 TEU’s in 2014-15. The physical performance parameters like Pre-Berthing Detention, Turn Around Time and Ship Berth day Output continued to improve, said an official data.