The long-pending demand of the residents of Sadayankuppam for completing the work on the half-constructed bridge across the Buckingham canal may finally come true.
Six years after the bridge construction was halted, the Highways department has called for tender to complete the construction of the bridge across the Buckingham canal and to lay the approach road. A senior official in the Construction and Maintenance wing of the Highways department said that the bid was to award contract for the construction of the remaining portion of the half-completed bridge and to lay approach road.
For residents of Sadayankuppam, the iron pedestrian bridge across the Puzhal surplus canal is the easiest way to reach a bus stop on the Manali Oil Refinery road. “The iron bridge had been washed away several times in the floods in the past. And the two-kilometre-long road leading to the bridge is prone to heavy waterlogging,” said Gomathi, a construction worker living in Burma Nagar. In case of any medical emergency, they must take a detour of three to four kilometre via TPP road to reach Tiruvottiyur, she said.
The Highways department official said that the bridge work came to a halt in 2014 due to delay in land acquisition. The high-level bridge across the Buckingham canal was sanctioned under the Tsunami Rehabilitation programme at a cost of Rs 9 crore. After the canal was declared as national waterway by the Inland Waterways Authority, the department revised the scope of the bridge work and the State government accorded revised administrative sanction for Rs 1.646 crore in January 2010.
After several hiccups over the awarding the construction contract, it was awarded in January 2012. But the contractor could complete only 52 per cent of the work due to the delay in the land acquisition. The contractor requested foreclosure of the work in November 2013. “Now the case over the land acquisition has been settled. The contractor appointed through this tender would be able to execute the works without any hindrance,” the Highways official said.