The Highways Department has invited bids to widen the two-lane 1.2 km ECR stretch at Palavakkam into a six-lane road with footpath-cum-storm water drain at a cost of Rs 13.66 crore. “This stretch has dual two-lane divided carriageway of 8-9 metres width. As the entire length of the road runs through the built-up area, traffic congestion occurs even during normal hours. Hence, widening is proposed to have a dual three-lane divided carriageway with footpath-cum-storm water drain,” Highway Department sources said.
The 12-km long Tiruvanmiyur-Akkarai stretch of the ECR is dotted with residential and commercial establishments and runs via Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Neelankarai, Injambakkam and Sholinganallur.
“Due to rapid urbanisation along this stretch, the Highways Department proposed to widen the road into a six-lane in 2005. But it was delayed due to various reasons, including increasing cost of land acquisition,” the official said.
When the road widening was proposed 15 years ago, the department had sanctioned Rs 10 crore for land acquisition. “In 2012, a revised administrative sanction was given to enhance the land acquisition compensation to Rs 354.66 crore. It went up further to Rs 778 crore in May 2019,” sources noted.
A Highways Department official said that the work on Palavakkam stretch is being taken up first, as the land acquisition has been completed there. “Land acquisition was underway in rest of the 12-km stretch as well. It will be completed soon and the widening works will be taken up in a phased manner,” the official noted.