“NHAI has terminated the contract and decided to call for fresh tender to complete the project. The tender will be called this month and work will start once the process is completed,” District Collector K. Rajamani told The Hindu.
A bypass road was constructed from Asoor on Tiruchi-Thanjavur Highway to Mathur a few years ago and is in good use, but there has not been much progress on the section between Mathur and Panchapur. This section is part of the semi-ring road that will link almost all major national highways around the city.
Meanwhile, NHAI is awaiting environmental clearance for the revised alignment of the other section of the bypass road between Panchapur on Tiruchi-Madurai Highway and Jeeyapuram on Tiruchi-Karur Highway.
The project ran into controversy over its alignment and land acquisition issues in 2006-07. Work on the bypass road, which will run from Panchapur via Thayanur to Jeeyapuram, was halted in 2010 after the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, while hearing a petition from farmers’ organisations, struck down the plan to lay the road across irrigation tanks.
The farmers had complained that the road, if built across the tanks, would affect irrigation and their livelihood.
The court had subsequently directed NHAI to lay the bypass road without affecting irrigation sources.
The proposal for laying the bypass road on another alignment, after holding public hearings, has been forwarded to the Union Ministry of Environment for clearance. Once the clearance is obtained, NHAI will take up the tendering process, Mr. Rajamani said.