The decade-long demand of the people of Pasiyavaram, a remote island in Pulicat lake near Pazhaverkadu, to construct a high level bridge across the lake to connect with Chennai-Pulicat road is likely to be fulfilled with the State Highways Department reviving the project once again.
The Highways Department has revived the high-level bridge project by inviting tender to its construction after it faced hurdles due to environmental concerns. The proposal for a high-level bridge was mooted after the 2004 tsunami when people were stranded in the island with no road connectivity to move out to a safer place. The construction of the bridge would benefit thousands of residents living in Pasiyavaram Kuppam, Satankuppam, Sathyavaram Kuppam, Rahmat Nagar, Idamanikuppam and Tsunami Quarters.
“About 20,000 people live in hamlets around the Pasiyavaram island without any proper road connectivity. People face maximum difficulty during rainy season and high tide times to cross the water. So, it is essential for the island people to have a permanent remedy by way of construction of a bridge,” a Highways Department official said. The Highways Department has revised the project cost from Rs 15 crore under the Tsunami Rehabilitation Program in 2007-08 to Rs 18.2 crore in 2015. The project includes construction of the high-level bridge along with approach road to Pasiyavaram.
Durai Mahendran, general secretary of Tiruvallur Maavatta Paarambariya Aikiya Meenavar Sangam said that it was not enough to invite bids for the project but to take up construction without any further delay. “The work has been getting delayed for one or another reason for over the last 10 years. Now after getting all the necessary permissions from the Environment and Forest Ministry, the project should be executed at the earliest to put an end to the suffering of the local people, particularly, students,” he said, adding that many students have to take long leave during the monsoon season as they cannot wade through the water.