Corporation could not find a suitable contractor and Centre denied permission to use smart city funds.
However, a Corporation higher official said that the project was dropped following the central government’s instruction not to take up the grade separator projects with the smart city mission funds. “We will plan and implement a new project with the funds that were sanctioned for the bridge,” the official said.
If the civic body had gone ahead with the grade separator proposal, a one-kilometre-long bridge to connect Theagaraya Road and Alwarpet Junction (TTK Road – Eldams Road – CP Ramasamy Road Junction) on Eldams Road to alleviate traffic snarls on the stretch. The Chennai Smart City Limited had allocated Rs 120 crore for the project and the fund would now be directed towards other projects.
The civic body has proposed the restoration of Mambalam Canal and restoration of additional water bodies projects, but the final decision would be taken at the board meeting of The Chennai Smart City Limited.
It may be noted that the civic body had floated repeated tenders inviting the contractors in vain. If the civic body had received bids during its first call, the bids would have been opened on December 28, 2018.
“As the estimation was fixed at Rs 120 crore, contractors vying for the project should pay Rs 1.20 crore as EMD. Even though the EMD is refundable, the refund for unsuccessful bidders is delayed,” a Chennai Corporation contractor said. Meanwhile, the civic body decided to go ahead with the project to construct a skywalk connecting Mambalam Railway station and T Nagar bus terminus, despite the authority could not find a suitable contractor yet. Also taken up under the smart city mission, skywalk would come up at a cost of around Rs 29 crore.
The Chennai Corporation is maintaining as many as 13 grade separators in the city and the Eldams Road bridge was proposed as fourteenth grade separator. “We are planning to start the construction of three bridges across Puzhal surplus canal at Amullavoyal, Vadaperumbakkam and Burma Nagar,” the official added.