Chennai, India: Progress ………… at a snails pace

23 May

Expectation that change will come remains high despite further examples of level crossing elimination and grade-separation projects that take far too long. In Thiruvottiyur discussions regarding the proposed bridge began a generation ago. Now after eight attempts the contract for the grade-separation works is still not let. The latest episode in the tail of woe is a contractor who sought a 42% variation above the accepted tender before even starting work. Now representatives of the 12,000 residents “cut-off” by the level crossing have posted signs pilliorying both state government and the railway for their lack of progress. However, there is little optimism that the agreed grade-separation will be delivered in anything approaching a reasonable time.

Elsewhere, in Korrattur, after five years the project to replace the level crossing adjacent the railway station with a grade-separated intersection has once again stalled. The level crossing was, according to a sign posted by Indian Railways, to have closed on May 9th, 2013 to allow construction of a rail-over-road bridge to be built. Now, the crossing remains open to road traffic as it has emeged that construction cannot begin as there are continuing problems in completing the necessary acquisition of land which is fast becoming a ransom issue as some land owners are demanding more money and other that an alternative route is adopted that spares their land holding.

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