Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003
Ennore expressway project gets green signal
The busy Ennore expressway, the main link between Chennai and the Ennore-Manali industrial belt, made narrow by sea erosion and encroachments.
CHENNAI, June 16
THE decks have been cleared for improving the Ennore expressway that connects Chennai with the northern industrial belt of Ennore-Manali. The project includes protecting the road from sea erosion, resettling and rehabilitating about 2,000 fishermen families, and then widening and improving three roads including the Ennore expressway.
The total project cost is estimated at about Rs 150 crore, for which the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has floated a special purpose vehicle - Chennai Ennore Port Road Connectivity Ltd. The special purpose vehicle is now a 100 per cent subsidiary of NHAI and will be restructured to include the Tamil Nadu Government and the Chennai Port Trust, according to sources.
A major stretch of the Ennore expressway has been eaten up by sea erosion and various measures taken over the last few years have not yielded any permanent solution to the problem.
Taking the project forward is an MoU signed between the NHAI and the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture between the IL&FS and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation, a State Government undertaking, in Delhi last week.
The Tamil Nadu Road Development Company (TNRDC) will be the "managing associate" for NHAI in the project and it will get a fee-based income, calculated as a percentage of the project cost, according to the sources.
The TNRDC is also open to the idea of expanding its role in the project and has offered to help raise funds for the project as also take care of the operation and maintenance.
According to sources, the project could be executed with a debt-equity ratio of 1:1. The Chennai Port Trust has contributed Rs 38 crore, one-fourth the project cost, as its share, and the State Government has said that the Rs 30 crore it has spent on improving the northern portion of the Inner Ring Road, connecting NH5 to the Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panjetti Road, be treated as its contribution to the project.
Improving the Ennore expressway has three components to it: erecting 10 groynes in two stretches to protect the road from sea erosion; resettling and rehabilitating about 2,000 fishermen families; and, improving the Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panjetti Road, the Manali oil refinery road and the Ennore expressway. It is expected that all the works will be completed in 2006.
According to the sources, RDS Constructions has been awarded the contract to erect the 10 groynes on a 3.6 km stretch of the sea. After a number of studies, it was found that a permanent protection against sea erosion could be obtained either by erecting groynes or having a constructing a breakwater. Groynes will be the most cost effective way of providing this protection. According to the sources, the cost of erecting the groynes has been scaled down to about Rs 80 crore to finally Rs 25 crore. The contract for erecting the groynes, awarded by the NHAI after re-tendering the work, is valued at Rs 24.96 crore. Every year, at least Rs 2-3 crore is spent on having temporary protection against sea erosion. This work is expected to be completed in 24 months beginning June, while the actual construction of the groynes will commence in December after the North East monsoon.
A 34-acre plot of land has been identified in Manali for resettling and rehabilitating the 2,000 fishermen families. Those involved in the project are keen that the resettlement colony be a model one in terms of facilities and amenities provided. The project authorities will follow the State Government's guidelines for the World Bank assisted Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project. This component of the project is estimated to cost Rs 20-25 crore and will be completed in 24-30 months.
According to the sources, the Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panjetti Road and the Manali oil refinery road improvements will be completed by June-December 2005 after which widening and improving the 6.8 km Ennore expressway will be taken up. Tolls will be levied on vehicles using the Ennore expressway.
Having a permanent solution to the sea erosion and improving the Ennore expressway and the other roads are crucial not only to industries in the Ennore-Manali belt (like Madras Fertilizers Ltd, and Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and the Ennore Port), but also to the Chennai Port as all vehicles carrying containers will have to only use this road for reaching the port and taking back containers from the port.
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line