Chennai: Union minister of state for road transport, highways and shipping Pon Radhakrishnan met Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday to discuss road projects in the state. Later, he praised her on her handling of the ongoing Cauvery issue in a patient manner.
Speaking to reporters after meeting her at the Secretariat, he said the discussions focused on central road projects in the state. Radhakrishnan said he had sought TN government’s cooperation in expediting central road projects in the state, including converting the East Coast Road (ECR) into a National Highway and expanding it to four lanes. Jayalalithaa assured him of the state’s support.
According to a state government release, the minister requested the CM for support to commence the survey for preparation of the Detailed Project Report for the development of a major port at Enayam (Colachel). The minister indicated that the construction of the port is at a place nearly 1 km away from Enayam and Enayam itself will not be affected by this construction. The port will be built by reclaiming land from the sea and no existing habitation will be affected, the release said.
The CM assured the minister that the TN government “is as keen on implementing the project as the government of India and would provide all necessary support,” the release said. Radhakrishnan requested that the ECR, south of Puducherry, may be handed over to the National Highways Authority of India for upgradation as a National Highway. The CM pointed out that for stretches of roads already taken over as National Highways, adequate maintenance funding from National Highways Authority of India should be ensured, the release said.
The state government is already taking up the upgradation and improvement work in the Thoothukudi – Tiruchendur-Kanniyakumari stretch of the East Coast Road.
The CM further sought an assurance from the minister that in case the ECR road is taken over by NHAI, adequate priority and funding should be accorded to ensure that the road is well maintained, the release stated. Radhakrishnan also sought the CM’s continued support for all works relating to National Highways in the state.
Asked by mediapersons whether the TN bandh to protest against the violence against Tamils in Karnataka was discussed, Radhakrishnan said, “The chief minister has done exceedingly well on the Cauvery issue…has handled (it) very patiently.” He would discuss the violence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he meets him.
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