Work to widen the Villupuram-Nagapattinam highway (NH 45A) will be expedited after the Supreme Court held that environment clearance was not necessary for the project which aims to widen the coastal road.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is executing the project, has been directed to ensure that the land acquisition did not exceed 40 metres for the existing alignments, and 60 metres for the realignments, of the 180 km-long highway.
Though tenders had been called for the 6,000 crore project, we had to slow down the process due to legal issues. Meanwhile, we have also ensured availability of land for the widening. Now, we will speed up the work and definitely adhere to the directions of the Supreme Court, a NHAI official said.
Tenders for two stretches Villupuram to Puducherry and Puducherry to Poondiyankulam have been opened and are under scrutiny. Bids for the third stretch between Poondiyankulam and Sattanathapuram would open on January 27. The contractor is set to begin work next month for the stretch between Sattanathapuram and Nagapattinam. The widening would take around 24 to 30 months to complete.
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