Work going on at Spurtank Road, in the city on Monday | Albin Mathew
The much delayed Chennai Port-Maduravoyal elevated corridor project may be completed in another 30 months as the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) resumed the work on Monday.
The work to clear way for the vehicles to ply in the area along the Cooum river has been started on Spur Tank Road, NHAI Chief General Manager (Technical), Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Chinna Reddy, told Express.
It may be recalled that following a High Court order on February 20, 2014, Reddy has stated that the work would start within three months. “But with the manpower and machinery at our disposal, the work has started with immediate effect after consultations,” Reddy said, adding, he expected to finish the project in the next 30 months.
Initially, NHAI is looking at laying the foundation along the Cooum. “One ground of land was cleared and the work began at around 11 am,” said an official at the site.
The construction of pile caps along the river stretch has been a bone of contention between the State government and the NHAI. The project hit a roadblock on March 2012 after the Water Resources Department issued a ‘stop work’ notice saying the alignment of the corridor along the banks of the Cooum had deviated from the original plan.
The biggest challenge for the NHAI is to get the slums vacated on the stretch. “There are a number of places where the slums have to be evicted by the State and the land has to be handed over to the NHAI,” said Reddy.
Reddy said the State government was yet to constitute land acquisition units for the 262-km Bangalore-Chennai Expressway that will run through Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. He said other states have already set up the units.
He also said Rs 1,000 crore road improvement project in 300 kilometres across the State would be taken up under Engineering Procurement and Construction scheme after there were no takers for Build Operate Transfer (BOT) process.
The project would be carried out in the stretch linking Madurai, Rameswaram, Karaikudi, Thanjavur and Chidambaram.
BANGALORE: Thousands of motorists and bikers using the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) owned by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) have a reason to cheer . The 41-km stretch of the expressway connecting Hosur Road , Bannerghatta Road , Kanakapura Road , Mysore Road , Magadi Road and Tumkur Road will be concretized in a year . About 70,000 passenger carrying units (PCUs) ply on the expressway daily .
NICE spokesperson Manjunath Nayaker said the idea is to provide commuters with a better riding experience and ensure the road lasts for long .
“We are using the Concrete Rigid Pavement method where the concrete pavement is laid in bonding with the existing asphalted pavement . It is done by milling (removing ) the top surfaceof the asphalted pavement . These roads are beneficial to users as they reduce operational costs and fuel consumption ,” he explained .
Manjunath said as part of a pilot project , select stretches , including a 4-km stretch of PRR between the clover-leaf interchange at Sompura towards MysoreRoad ,have already been concretized . The same method has been employed to concretize the 9.1-km Link Road connecting Outer Ring Road near PES College with the NICE Corridor at Sompura ,” he added .
Engineers with LR Kadiyali and Associates , in-charge of the concretization , said the method promises a durable road that lasts up to 60 years .
Concrete surface will improve users’ safety since there won’t be potholes Will improve visibility To cut down operational expenditure, including cost of vehicle maintenance Cooler concrete surface will reduce heat-island effect in urban areas Using existing asphalted road as the base leads to less generation of debris that would have ended up in landfills.
The proposed 19-km ‘Elevated Corridor Project’ connecting Chennai Port and Maduravoyal envisages direct access to the port from the outskirts of the city round the clock without traffic regulations. This will help in the speedy movement of cargo in and out of Chennai Port, the National Highways Authority of India has said in an affidavit in the Madras High Court.
The time required to reach Chennai Port from Maduravoyal through the corridor would be approximately 30 minutes. The project would help in augmenting the revenue of both the Central and State Governments by way of taxes besides improvement of trade, industry and employment.
The NHAI affidavit was in reply to a counter filed by the Chief Engineer of the State Public Works Department, Chennai. The NHAI had filed a writ petition seeking to quash the records of the Chief Engineer, PWD, Water Resource Organisation, of January 28 this year.
By that communication, the PWD had sought revised CRZ clearance for the elevated corridor project. The NHAI said it was aggrieved as the Tamil Nadu Government was putting stumbling blocks in implementing the corridor. The Chief Engineer had earlier filed the counter to the petition.
Delhi-based corporation keen on setting it up along the lines of the Mumbai-Delhi model.
The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Corporation (DMICC), which is helming one of the country’s most ambitious mass industrialisation projects, has now set its eyes on replicating the effort on the Mumbai-Bangalore route.
The DMICC, headquartered in Delhi, has called in both request for qualification and request for proposals (RFQ and RFP) — the technical procedures to select firms in a big-ticket project — from consulting firms that could draw up a feasibility plan for the Mumbai-Bangalore industrial corridor. The firms will be shortlisted by December-end.
The plan, like the Mumbai-Delhi one, is to create several smart cities along a designated route in order to bring about a massive transformation in the manufacturing and services sector by way of designated industrial areas and investment regions. A total of 24 such regions will be created along the Delhi-Mumbai route as per the DMICC plan.
“We are looking at this possibility for a Mumbai-Bangalore corridor and have asked for a feasibility report. The government of the United Kingdom would be a participant in the process,” said a senior DMICC official. DMICC chief executive officer Amitabh Kant was unavailable despite repeated attempts to contact him.
The DMICC is a venture administered by the department of industrial policy and promotion under the Union ministry of commerce and industry. It has the Japan Bank for Industrial Cooperation and the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) as its partners.
Delhi-Mumbai industrial road route
The concept of the Delhi-Mumbai corridor is a band of 150km to 200km on both sides of the Dedicated Freight Corridor running from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port to Dadari near Noida. The mandate includes building up feeder roads and rail connectivity from these hubs to hinterland markets and ports along the western coast. Accordingly, the project-influence region of DMIC includes parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
In addition to the influence region, DMIC would also include development of requisite feeder rail/road connectivity to hinterland/markets and select ports along the western coast.
PATNA: Yet another milestone in the state capital will start taking shape on Friday when the foundation stone of elevated corridor from AIIMS Patna to Digha will be laid by chief minister Nitish Kumar. The project is to be completed by October 2016.
Starting from AIIMS Patna on NH-98 and terminating at Digha on Ganga Path, the length of the road will be 11.9km, of which 9.7km will be elevated. It will have connectivity with NH-98, NH-30, NH-19 and Ganga Path.
Bihar State Road Development Corporation (BSRDC) MD and state road secretary Pratyaya Amrit said this project has been designed as a high-speed and toll-free 4-lane corridor. It will have facilities like roadside furniture, street lighting, pedestrian facilities, rescue lane, traffic and medical aid post and noise barrier. The contractor firm awarded the work, Gammon India Limited, has promised to complete the project before the deadline.
Amrit said this project would also serve as a lifeline for the patients being rushed to AIIMS from any corner as it would be free from traffic congestion. “Considering the construction of four-lane Ganga Path and four-lane Patna-Bakhtiarpur on NH-30, the elevated corridor will act as a ring road of Patna,” said Amrit on the eve of inauguration of the project work on the project.
The total project cost is Rs 1,289 crore, while Gammon India has been awarded the work for Rs 717.30 crore.
The elevated corridor concept was conceived by Nitish in May 2012 during a site visit. He sent a letter to the Planning commission and submitted a proposal. The plan panel approved the proposal under BRGF in May 2013 and following administrative approval by the state government, the tender was floated in which many firms submitted their bid. The financial bids were opened last month.
Amrit also announced on this occasion that NH-98 (Patna-Aurangabad) work has been awarded and work will start early next year. He also said that construction of six-lane Ganga bridge from Kachchi Dargah to Biddupur is next on the radar of BSRDC and possibly work will start by February next.
Jalpaiguri, Oct. 29: Gautam Deb, the north Bengal development minister, today held a meeting with the NHAI, panchayat representatives and the NH31D project officials to loosen the last land knot holding back the four-laning of the highway for two years.
After the meeting today, the first sign of government action on the ground to push the crucial but delayed project, the NHAI said it would float a tender after Diwali to start four-laning work for the two-lane highway.
The NH31D is part of the East-West Corridor from Porbandar in Gujarat to Silchar in Assam.
The four-laning would be done from Ghoshpukur in Siliguri to Salsalabari in Cooch Behar, a 155km stretch. According to officials, the widening of NH31D would require about 570 hectares.
The NH31D and NH34 are the lifelines of north Bengal, whose railway network is not comparable to south Bengal’s. The north Bengal stretch of NH31D is the only part of the East-West Corridor where four-laning is yet to begin.
Government sources today said a 9km bypass road was the only stretch for which land remained to be acquired. After the state government agreed to acquire land within one year for four-laning the highway, the state has helped NHAI to acquire land in Jalpaiguri and Mainaguri.
The two gram panchayat pradhans who attended the meeting have been told to speak to villagers in their areas — Baroghoira and Magurmari II in Jalpaiguri’s Dhupguri — where land is required to lay the bypass to the NH31D skirting Dhupguri town.
The widening of the highway has been stalled since 2011. The bypass from Jhumur Bridge, 1.5km from Dhupguri town, to Dhupguri College where the bypass will again meet the NH31D, has hit a wall because villagers have refused to give land.
A group of villagers has formed the Krishi Jami Bastu Uchhed Raksha Committee (Dhupguri Bypass). Abu Taher, its secretary, said nearly 1,000 landowners would be affected as about 600 acres would have to be acquired.
“There are houses, schools, temples, mosques and shops and also multi-crop farm land….We are also not happy for being left out of today’s meeting,” Taher said.
He said the committee had forwarded a proposal to the district administration to utilise an embankment of the Jaldhaka river that is used as a zilla parishad road. “The embankment begins a kilometre from Dhupguri Chowpathy and then meets a zilla parishad road just before Dhupguri College. The NHAI should utilise that route,” Taher said.
The NHAI, however, has refused to change the highway plan anymore.
“It is not possible for us to change the detailed project report. We have decided to float a tender for the entire stretch after Diwali,” said NHAI’s Siliguri project director R.K. Chowdhury after the meeting.
Minister Deb said the pradhans had been asked to speak to the landowners.
“We have already solved similar problems in Siliguri, Chopra, Mainaguri and Cooch Behar,” he said.
NEW DELHI: The proposed highway covering India, Myanmar and Thailand is expected to be operational soon, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said today.The highway will help in smoother and faster movement of goods between these regions.
“We are presently working with the governments of Myanmar and Thailand to develop the trilateral highway which hopefully will be completed soon,” Sharma said here at a CII function.
The idea of the highway – from Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand, via Myanmar – was conceived at the trilateral ministerial meeting on transport linkages in Yangon in April 2002. It represents a significant step in establishing connectivity between India and South East Asian countries.
Myanmar is source of one-third of India’s imports in pulses and one-fifth in timber.
Emphasising on the need to enhance road, air and sea connectivity, Sharma said that India is also working to develop the Kaladan multi-modal transport corridor which comprises waterway and roadway.
Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project will connect the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe port in Myanmar by sea; it will then link Sittwe to Mizoram via river and road transport.
Sharma said the project and the transport corridor will connect these countries (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Mayanmar) with the North-Eastern part of India.
The government is also looking at connecting India and Myanmar through a sea link, he added.
He said: “Connectivity by air, road and sea in important. We have entire north east India which is progressing but still lagging behind the rest of the country because of geography, constraints of infrastructure.”
Sharma was speaking at the CII’s Business Conclave of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Mayanmar.
Further, the minister said that trade between India and the four South East Asian nations is “well below potential”. The two-way commerce between India and these nations stood at USD 8.5 billion in 2012-13.
“We need to do more. We have to look at not only increasing economic relation but deepening and diversifying the priority sectors which hold potential like IT, agri, healthcare, oil and gas and textile,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, representatives of these four countries sought investments from India in sectors like IT, infrastructure, energy, power and agro processing.
“We have opened our doors for India. We welcome you,” Cambodian Secretary of State, Ministry of Planning, Hou Taing Eng said.
India main exports to these countries include pharma, machinery, vehicles, plastics and cotton while imports are pulses, rubber, wood, mineral oil and spices.
The plan for an elevated road between Worli and Sewri to boost east-west connectivity in the island city got a boost Friday, with five engineering companies submitting bids for construction of the corridor.
The companies that have submitted bids for the 4.5-km elevated road are Larsen & Toubro, Hindustan Construction Company, Gammon India, Simplex Infrastructure and National Construction Company.
“We have opened the technical bids. We will need around two weeks to evaluate the proposals after which we will open the financial tenders. The evaluation of the financial bids will take another two weeks,” said an official from MMRDA.
The construction of the Worli-Sewri elevated road, which will cost around Rs 490 crore, is likely to begin early next year and will take nearly four years to be completed. The project will require the rehabilitation of around 800 families living along the alignment of the road. The corridor will begin at Narayan Hardikar Marg in Worli and end near Sewri railway station.
MMRDA had originally planned the Worli-Sewri corridor primarily as a connector to the showpiece Sewri-Nhava Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) for traffic to make the sea-link across the Mumbai harbour accessible to the western suburbs. However, the 22-km harbour link project saw a setback earlier this year when not even a single company responded to MMRDA’s call for price bids to construct the harbour link in public private partnership mode, though five consortia were shortlisted.
MMRDA has decided to go ahead with the elevated road project, as it could benefit the city even as a standalone project.
BHOPAL: India’s longest Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) corridor was inaugurated in Bhopal on Friday and named after BJP patriarch, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Marg. The 24-km corridor was opened by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Union urban development minister Kamal Nath, who was expected to launch the first Mybus, did not turn up.Bhopal Mayor Krishna Gaur sought naming of the corridor after Vajpayee in her inaugural speech. Minutes later, Chouhan made the announcement.
The lone Congress MLA in Bhopal, Arif Aqueel, boycotted the function as the party wanted the corridor named after former President, Shankar Dayal Sharma, who was born in Bhopal. After opening the BRTS, Chouhan went on an inauguration spree to beat the model code deadline. He launched projects of Rs 400 crore, which included a multilevel parking at Ibrahimpura, the Bhopal-Indore Volvo bus service, MyBus depot at Sant Hirdaram Nagar.
Speaking at the occasion, Chouhan blasted the Centre for inflation even as his government was providing “low-cost public transport”.
He also elaborated on the developmental works done by BJP government. “When Congress was in power, only Rs 5 crore would be earmarked for roads. Now more than Rs 2000 crore have been spent on road development,” he said.
He also promised to develop colonies for migrant rural workers to regularise old illegal colonies. The CM also granted Rs 15 crore to BMC for maintenance and functioning of BRTS corridor. Mayor-in-council member K M Soni said the zonal plan for AIIMS, New Market and Bairagarh was in the offing. “Bairagarh zonal plan would be unveiled next year,” he said.
TR-3 was among the buses unveiled on Friday which would cover the entire BRTS corridor from Misrod to Bairagarh. 26 AC buses were added to the existing fleet of low-floor buses bringing the total number to 225 buses operated along various routes in the city.
The 24-km long corridor would take around an hour in the dedicated corridor and the fare would be Rs 26, Soni said.
During Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s India visit in May, India agreed to “explore the possibilities of the proposed Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor” with China. But New Delhi is going slow on this. When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits China this month, the Chinese will push for the BCIM plan. China has already been in discussion with Myanmar and Bangladesh to take this forward. During Singh’s Beijing visit, China will also offer to declare Kunming and Kolkata as sister cities to carry forward the process.
It is New Delhi and not states in the east or north-east that fear Chinese trade and investments along the corridor. This trade can only boost their economies. The opening of the Stilwell Road, built during World War II, is a case in point. Assam’s industry minister Pradyut Bordoloi and Arunachal Pradesh’s former governor J J Singh have been enthusiastic about opening the road to China-India trade. Unlike the Nathu La pass in Sikkim, the Stilwell Road is capable of handling 20-25 per cent of Sino-Indian bilateral trade. But a powerful defence-commerce ministry lobby has blocked it all these years.
China has modernised its part of the road and its companies are doing that in Myanmar now. Only 66 km of the road falls in India — so, if the Chinese army uses it to amass troops on the Indian border for a surprise offensive or dump their products in a trade war, they can do it even if India does not formally open the road. Also, trade with India via Arunachal Pradesh will immediately stop all claims of that region as “southern Tibet”.
Note how quickly China shed its reservations on Sikkim, after trade resumed through the Nathu La pass. JJ Singh, a former army chief, advocated an Indian presence on the road for pragmatic reasons, but that did not help with the mandarins in Delhi. So, an alternate route was chosen for the BCIM car rally in February-March: it started at Kolkata, passed through Bangladesh and India’s north-eastern states of Assam and Manipur, and ended in Kunming, Yunnan via west and north Myanmar.
Now, China wants the car rally route to be converted into the BCIM Friendship highway and turned into an economic corridor with industries, trading entrepots and tourism infrastructure developed around it. This is an excellent idea. Large parts of China, contiguous with south Asia, are landlocked. The Strait of Malacca is a choke point that China wants to bypass through overland trade through Myanmar, Bangladesh and the north-east. Beijing wants to transform BCIM into a live regional grouping to integrate the two most populous nations of the world and use the Bangladesh-Myanmar corridor to help Chindia draw south-east Asia into the world’s strongest future economic bloc. Beijing hopes that India sheds its fear of encirclement by China and creates a win-win situation for both countries in Asia, from south-east to west.
India, especially its eastern and north-eastern states, would stand to gain much more economically by higher trade and connectivity with China and the rest of Asia. On the other hand, there is no material gain if India acts as a pivot for American interests in south Asia.
A formal push for the BCIM during Manmohan Singh’s China visit may boost investments and help chief ministers or industry ministers in the east and north-east to showcase their states to Chinese investors. If the home ministry can waive its objections and agree to allow Chinese telecom majors like Huawei to invest in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor or the Indian embassy in Beijing can rope in huge Chinese investments for Andhra Pradesh, the east and north-east should not be deprived because the region has a long border with China.