TN unveils project to upgrade urban roads
In a major effort to bring about qualitative change in urban road infrastructure, the state government has rolled out a new scheme called Tamil Nadu Urban Road Infrastructure Project, with an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore every year, to develop sustainable urban road infrastructure with proper storm water drainage facilities and ducting in a phased manner. Unique features of the project include, creation of assets that will withstand all seasons, 100% coverage in all towns, designs based on scientific assessment of needs, maintenance of roads for five years immediately on construction, combined with construction contract and GIS mapping of the assists created under the project. In the most urbanized state, cities such as Chennai, Tiruchi, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Tirupur and towns like Karur, Alandur, Mayiladuthurai, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur and Valasaravakkam, where under ground sewerage schemes have already been completed, would be taken up in the first phase. For this project, a separate, non-lapsable fund named Tamil Nadu Road Infrastructure Fund (TURIF) will be created. In an order the government said Tamil Nadu has 719 urban local bodies that maintain 31,600 km length of roads, of which around 3,000 km are owned by the Chennai corporation. There has been a huge investment in repairs and maintenance, which has not been based on scientific assessment through a needbased study, leading to creation of non-durable assets. Developing an integrated city road plan, usage of latest technology for design and execution of works that ensures quality and speedy completion, digitising the entire assets, developing uniform, userfriendly road signage system, avenue plantation and barrier-free pavements were among the components of the project. Local administration minister M K Stalin will head an empowered committee to select cities and towns for the project, while finance secretary, municipal administration and water supply department secretary will be members. An official said it was a significant step towards better urban road infrastructure. Once a corporation or municipality was selected for coverage under the project, all the roads in it would be covered.