In Tamil Nadu, the four-lane highway from Madurai (Virahanoor-Paramakudi) is progressing with a revised plan. According to sources, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials, Virudhunagar Congress MP Manicka Tagore inspected the proposed points at Virahanoor, Silaiman and Puliankulam on June 29.
The 115-km highway, to be developed at an estimated cost of a whopping Rs.820 crore, would have bypass stretches at Silaiman, Tiruppuvanam, Tirupachethi and Paramakudi, which alone would run to 40 km.
When the plan was prepared in 2006 in the Build-Operate-Transfer mode, it was turned down as unviable, sources said. As there was hue and cry from the residents of Virahanoor, Silaiman and Puliankulam, where around 500 dwellings had to be razed down, the ambitious road project was put in cold storage.
However, in May 2012, after the trade and industry associations from many southern districts represented to the Government of India to reconsider the plan, Manicka Tagore assured to impress upon the Union Surface Transport Ministry in this regard.
The NHAI engineers prepared an alternative route plan with a slight deviation of 3.5 km from the original alignment and obtained necessary approval from the Union Ministry. Now, the revised plan, which implies no damage to houses and commercial establishments at Viraganoor, Silaiman and Puliankulam, has got the official nod.