Saturday, July 5, 2008

Oragadam indl corridor to get 58-km, four-lane road

Work Will Begin In A Fortnight After Four-Month Delay
M Gunasekaran | TNN

Chennai: With burgeoning industrial activity around Oragadam, fast emerging as a major auto hub, the state government will soon begin upgradation of the Sriperumbudur-Singaperumalkoil and Vandalur-Walajabad roads, converting them from cramped single-lanes to fourlane highways.
    With Oragadam as a junction, the 58-km-long road will be converted initially into four-lane and subsequently six-lane at a cost of Rs 300 crore after acquisition of land, sources in the highways department told The Times Of India.
    Located about 40 kms from Chennai, Oragadam is proving to be the next auto destination, after Sriperumbudur, with auto ancillaries and electronic spares industries setting up shop here.
    In fact the area is bustling with industrial activity with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh laying a foundation stone for Rs 470-crore Global Automotive Research Centre a year ago and the Nokia Siemens Network investing Rs 300 crore at Oragadam Special Economic Zone.
    Moser Baer’s Rs 2,000 crore plant will come up at Oragandam for manufacturing nano materials and photovoltaic products. Komatsu and Apollo tyres have set up their manufacturing units here too. Huge investments have already been pumped into Oragadam which is witnessing a flurry of activity these days.
    With the hectic industrial activity in and around Oragadam, the existing single lane is proving to be a major bottleneck, sorely inadequate to accommodate the increasing vehicular traffic especially on Sriperumpudur-Oragadam, sources say.
    As the project requires land acquisition to make the two roads six lane highways, the authorities have decided to make them four-lane first. But, land acquisition process will take place simultaneously. Three firms that won the contract for the highways project signed the agreement a couple of days ago. The firms are already in the process of mobilising men and materials to execute the mega project.
    Preparatory works to shift utilities like telephone, electricity poles and water pipes, have already begun. A senior official said that the work had been delayed by about four months as the sole contractor, who was awarded the tender, refused to take up the work citing escalation of raw material costs.
    “We revoked the contract and ultimately the firm forfeited its earnest money deposit of Rs 91 lakh. After the government’s introduction of price adjustment mechanism, the project took off,” a highways department source said. However, the project cost rose to Rs 215 crore from Rs 190 crore in six months.
cross at Oragadam and a grade separator will come up at the junction at a cost of Rs 20 crore.
    Expressing confidence about completing the project in the next 15 months, or by September 2009, an official said there was no major construction work involved in the project except the Oragadam Grade Separator.
    Sources in the Tamil Nadu Road Infrastructure Development Corporation that executes the project confirmed that toll would not be collected from road users. “The project was conceived by the government to give fillip to industrial growth and to lure more investors. So, the government decided not to impose toll,” sources said.
    With industrial activities hotting up around Oragadam there has been a pressure from business houses to expedite the road work and create a smoother passageway to the industrial hub. Though the contractors have been given 15 months to complete the project, highway authorities are confident of completing the work ahead of schedule.
IN THE WORKS
Total length: 58 km
Project cost: Rs 300 crore (including land acquisition)
Period of completion:
15 months
Toll will not be collected
A Rs 20 crore grade separator will come up at Oragadam
Initially the two crisscrossing roads will be
four-lane highways
After land acquisition they will become
six-lane highways

Source:TOI

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