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The Hindu
The Hindu
Deepa H. Ramakrishnan

Tenders floated for widening of Chennai - Tirupati National Highway


Tenders have been called for the widening of the 44-km-long stretch of Chennai – Tirupati National Highway (NH 716) from Tiruvallur to the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border. The cost of the project to be taken up on design, build, operate and transfer or hybrid annuity basis, will be around ₹750 crore.

The present two-lane wide road will be widened to four lanes with paved shoulders on either sides on completion of the project. A total of 20 underpasses have been proposed to be constructed at major junctions. 

“As much of the work would be at an elevation, land acquisition would not be required for the project since already a 60-metre-wide right of way is available. There are encroachments in that space but notices have been issued to those persons in this regard,” explained an official in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Alongside the road, the concessionaire will also provide a utility corridor, unpaved drain, unpaved shoulder for 1.5 metre width and space for greenery. Keeping safety of road users in mind, the median would be 4 metres wide on which shrubs and saplings would be planted.

Freedom Travels P. Nandagopal said that the potholes on the road had been fixed and the stretch has become better now. “However, it cannot be compared to other national highways like the Chennai - Tiruchi road or even the OMR. The Tirupati road is narrow in some places and it has several curves that need to be straightened to make driving safer. The road must be safe for local traffic, pedestrians and for all those travelling to Andhra Pradesh.” 

Consumer activist T. Sadagopan, who welcomed the proposal, said that the work should be completed within the stipulated time. “It is too narrow now to be classified as a national highway. Other facilities like truck lay bay, rest rooms, restaurants, car parking and resting space need to be created, especially for people travelling to the hill shrine of Tirumala Tirupati,” he said.  

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