A satellite commercial corridor is likely to be developed along the proposed Outer Ring Road (ORR), a 62-km sixlane state highway connecting Vandalur in the south with Minjur in the north. The first phase of the ORR, a distance of 30 km connecting Vandalur and Nemilichery (on Chennai-Tiruttani highway), is expected to be completed by year-end.
The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), which is promoting the road along the periphery of the Chennai Metropolitan Area to decongest the city and facilitate even dispersal of urban growth, is set to engage a consultant to evaluate the commercial potential and suggest a road map for developing about 750 acres of land it holds along the ORR. Of the 122-metre-wide portion acquired for the road, the carriageway and service roads occupy 72 metres. The road’s alignment comprises a road and rail corridor. The remaining 50-metre-wide portion is being retained by the CMDA for commercial development. “Being a virgin terrain, we are keen on promoting organised development,” said an official.
Another official said, “we have acquired the entire land for the first phase. There are a few patches, hardly 1% of the total area, that need to be acquired in the second phase connecting Nemilichery and Minjur. Some of them are locked in court cases. Since we plan to extend the ORR to Ennore, land acquisition is in progress along the last four km stretch.” The ORR connects NH45 at Vandalur, NH4 at Nazarathpet, NH 205 at Nemilichery, NH5 at Nallur and the TPP Road at Minjur.
While the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company, the managing associate appointed for the project, is coordinating and implementing the project, GMR is the contractor for the first phase which is estimated to cost Rs 1,100 crore. Works on three interchanges (grade separators) on the ORR began at Vandalur, Nazarathpet and Nemilichery recently to facilitate easy movement of traffic at the intersections where the ORR crosses the national highways. These flyovers are expected to be completed by next March.
Many builders have acquired large tracts of land along the ORR for future development. “The ORR may witness maximum real estate growth in the future because prices there are very low at present,” said Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India secretary T Chitty Babu.
He said, “the presence of service roads will pre-empt mushrooming of unorganized retail shops and promote planned development. Still, the CMDA needs to finalise a detailed master plan for the ORR such that all interior areas also see organised development. Otherwise, the ORR will witness a linear growth like the Old Mahabalipuram Road and interior areas will never get attention.”