The expert appraisal committee of the Union government has accorded coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearance for the much-delayed Chennai Port to Maduravoyal elevated double decker corridor. 

The Port Trust resubmitted the project for CRZ clearance, as the design and cost of project was revised in 2017. While the earlier submission had pegged the project cost at Rs 3,204 crore, the latest submission revised it to Rs 5,721.33 crore.

The total length of the corridor remains the same as earlier, 20.565 km. But a part of the corridor will be made two-deck so that heavy vehicles towards the Port could use the uppermost corridor. There will be no ramps on the upper corridor to allow local vehicles to enter or exit so that it will be accessed only by heavy vehicles to and from the port.

Earlier, then ADMK government CM Jayalalitha has stopped this infrastructure project that was initiated by DMK government during 2008 and even after commencement of work pillars was erected for 6 kms pillars but been stopped abruptly much to the traffic congestion of Chennaities

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Also in the earlier design entry and exit ramps were proposed only at the port and the end of the corridor.

Now, as many as 13 ramps will provide entry and exit to lower deck of the corridor.

The corridor starts within the premises of Chennai Port and continues along the bank of Cooum river until Koyambedu. Beyond Koyambedu, the alignment follows along centreline of NH-4 up to Maduravoyal. Within the core part of the city, the corridor will pass through Chintadripet, Egmore, Aminjikarai, Nungambakkam, and Arumbakkam.

Meanwhile, the bids for the project have already been floated and the bids will be opened on February 22. The clearance from the central committee came after the State Coastal Zone Management Authority (SCZMA) gave the green signal a few weeks ago.

While according the clearance, the committee directed the Chennai Port Trust, the implementing agency of the project, to ensure the flow of natural tidal water to mangroves and take adequate measures to maintain uninterrupted tidal water flow. Apart from this, the committee also directed it to adhere to the conditions laid down by the SCZMA.

One of the important instructions that the SCZMA had given to the Chennai Port Trust was to ensure the free flow of water in Cooum river during and after construction of the elevated expressway, some pillars for which would come up near or on the riverbed.

Instructions were given to not to store construction materials in CRZ areas, and to remove the temporary approach road for constructions of piers and bridges immediately after completion of works then and there so that there would not be any obstruction to the flow of water. The Port Trust has been strictly directed not to dump the soil excavated for the construction of piers in the river.