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Trichy-Chidambaram NH widening picks up pace

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12th October, 2019 10:04 IST
The widening work in package 1 and package 2 is progressing and can be completed in two years. Trichy: The widening of Trichy-Chidambaram National Highway (NH) (old number NH 227) under Bharatmala Pariyojana scheme has gained momentum with the civil work of the first two packages of the four-laning project expedited.

Taken up by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Viluppuram Project Implementation Unit (PIU) through a private contractor, the widening is expected to mitigate accident risks on the stretch. This is apart from facilitating better connectivity for freight and public movement between Trichy and Chidambaram which is dotted with industries and tourist destinations.

NHAI sources said that the major civil work for widening the 134-km highway at an estimated cost of Rs 2,952 crore was initiated in April and trifurcated. Package I covers Trichy and Kallagam, package II links Kallagam with Meensurutti (Ariyalur district) and package III covers the stretch between Meensurutti and Chidambaram (Cuddalore district).

Except for package III reeling under land-related issues, the other two packages are progressing according to plan, NHAI said. The first 50 kms of the 134km stretch covering Keezhapaluvur till V Kaikaati hamlet will become a proper four-lane road having a total width of 17 metres.

The remaining stretch of the project will be two-lane 10 metres wide with paved shoulder. “This is a much-needed project for rural people in Trichy and Ariyalur districts to avoid accident risk while commuting between Lalgudi and Jayankondam,” N Veerasekaran, a Lalgudi-based farmer said.

About 25% of package I and 10% of package II work were completed by the contractor in six months. An RoB will be built across the railway track at Kallagam and more than 20 flyovers will come up between Trichy and Kallagam to reduce the journey time.

Cement-laden trucks will benefit much from the widening project. “The existing industries on the stretch will benefit since the time consumed for the movement of raw materials and finished goods will come down drastically,” S R Dasarathan, an employee of Dalmia cements in Ariyalur said.

Since the widened highway links Chola-era Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple near Jayankondam and the iconic Nataraja temple in Chidambaram with Trichy international airport, domestic and international tourism is expected to flourish in Trichy, Ariyalur and Cuddalore districts. “Package III is being delayed and a new tender is to be floated. The widening work in package 1 and package 2 is progressing and can be completed in two years,” an official source with NHAI said.

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