Madurai-Kollam and Chittoor-Thatchur corridors among the major schemes to be taken up
The Union Budget for 2021-2022 has proposed construction of 3,500 km of national highways in the State with an investment of ₹1.03 lakh crore. These include the Madurai-Kollam corridor and the Chittoor-Thatchur corridor. Construction of these and other projects are to commence next year, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said during her budget speech on Monday.
Among the projects awarded or currently proposed are 506 km of roadworks to be taken up at an estimate of ₹16,500 crore, which include the 278-km Bengaluru–Chennai Expressway and the 277-km Chennai–Salem Expressway. Tenders for the former have been issued. Work on the roads between Nagapattinam and Thanjavur; Villupuram and Nagapattinam and Meensurutti and Chidambaram would be taken up this year. About ₹500 crore has been allocated for the construction of bridges and other structures in Kanniyakumari district.
Realignment of roads
Among the projects proposed for 2021-22 is a 150-km Madurai-Rajapalayam-Senkottai-Kollam highway. The portion in Tamil Nadu would cost ₹4,500 crore and it would involve realignment of existing roads to cater to the norms of the National Highways. Around 330 km of coastal road would be constructed from Nagapattinam to Thoothukudi via Rameswaram at a cost of ₹10,000 crore. The Chennai Port-Maduravoyal Elevated Corridor, which had been put on hold due to changes in alignment, is to be revived in 2021-22 with an allocation of ₹3,500 crore.
Ms. Sitharaman announced that an advanced traffic management system with speed radars, variable message signboards and GPS-enabled recovery vans would be installed in all the four- and six-lane highways. The national highways wing of the State Highways department too would implement the projects.