Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who handles the portfolios of road transport, highways, shipping and water resources, on November 23, 2017, announced that the centre had sanctioned projects worth Rs one lakh crore for Tamil Nadu. The projects will include three new elevated corridors, as well as an express highway between Chennai and Bengaluru. Similar to the Mumbai-Pune highway, Gadkari said a Chennai-Bengaluru Express Highway was planned, at cost of over Rs 20,000 crores.
“It may be over Rs 20,000 crores, because of land acquisition (costs),” he said. Stating that land acquisition from Karnataka government was completed, he said the ministry was awaiting clearance from the Tamil Nadu government. “Today, chief minister (K Palaniswami) assured me that they will expedite the process of land acquisition,” he said.
On the proposed elevated corridors, the minister said the first one is the Tambaram–Chengalpattu elevated corridor at Rs 2,250 crores. The other corridors were Poonamalee to Maduravoyal at Rs 1,500 crores and Chennai-Nellore at Rs 1,000 crores.
Referring to the number of road accidents in the country, Gadkari said Tamil Nadu ranked high in the number of accidents. In a bid to reduce the number of accidents, he said the ministry would begin working on accidental spots named as ‘blackspots’, because they were ‘road engineering problems’ and Rs 2,300 crores had been sanctioned for the purpose.
He said 61 accidental spots have been identified across the country.
Gadkari said the government would also set up ‘Bus Ports’ with international standards in various parts of the country, including Coimbatore and Madurai.
As part of promoting the logistics industry, Gadkari said the ministry was planning to set up logistics parks that would attract investments of Rs two lakh crores. “One logistic park is being planned in Nemmeli or Mappedu (in Tamil Nadu)”, he said.
Referring to the ports sector, he said Tamil Nadu is the only state to have a sea front of 1,100 kms. “We will use the three major ports (VOC Port, Kamarajar Port and Chennai Port) for industrialisation that will boost exports of the state,” Gadkari said. Ports in Tamil Nadu including Ennore, Tuticorin, along with JNPT, Paradip and Kandla ports, would be developed so that the ports can accommodate larger vessels.
The ministry also plans to establish a fishing harbor at Poompuhar at a cost of Rs 148 crores and also at Chinna Muttam in the state at Rs 73.5 crores. Referring to the fishermen issue in Tamil Nadu, he said the ministry has come up with a Rs 200-crore scheme in the first phase, in which new vessels can be used by fishermen for taking up deep sea fishing. Earlier, Gadkari and chief minister K Palaniswami reviewed, among others, the status of various ongoing road projects in the state.