Trailer yard raises hope

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The Chennai Port Trust (CPT) has decided to develop the Thiruvotriyur trailer-parking yard on its own and award the tender for this by the end of the month, according to a senior port official, giving people of North Chennai hope that congestion on the Thiruvotriyur-Ponneri-Panchetti (TPP) Road would be reduced and traffic would flow smoothly soon.

“We wanted to promote the parking yard in a public-private mode, but even after two tenders, there was no response from private partners to develop the yard. So, we have decided to promote it ourselves,” said CPT deputy chairman P.C. Parida.

CPT would hand over the parking yard to a private partner for operation and maintenance, he said. “We expect the yard to be ready by January,” added Parida.

The 11-acre yard, which was used by the Chennai container terminal as a verification spot before allowing the trailers to move towards the port, has been lying vacant for three years.

Once the yard resumes operations, about 2,000 trailers can be parked there and this will drastically reduce the congestion on the Thiruvotriyur-Ponneri-Panchetti (TPP) Road. The yard will also pave way for normal traffic to the city, as the trailers will move towards the port only after all formalities are completed.

“The port entry will also become congestion-free,” said Chennai Customs House Clearance Agents Association president A.V. Vijayakumar.

The yard functioned properly till 2009, when the Chennai container terminal monitored the movement of trailers at the Thiruvotriyur trailer-parking yard.

However, according to R. Jayaraman, a former chairman of Thiruvotriyur municipality, things took a turn for the worse after CPT asked the container corporation for royalty without developing the yard.

“While we had built four toilets inside the yard for the drivers, it still requires other facilities,” he said. Now, the area is under Chennai Corporation and the parking yard is with CPT on a 30-year lease.

Traffic snarls on arterial roads plague residents

Residents of North Chennai consider themselves unlucky as both the state and central governments have for years failed to reduce the traffic congestion in their locality.

Almost all arterial roads, including arterial S.N. Chetty Road, TPP Road and Ennore High Road, witness acute traffic snarls.

Nearly 15 lakh residents of Royapuram, R.K. Nagar and Tiruvotriyur constituencies are plagued by the congestion and motorists passing through north Chennai said that trailers heading to the Chennai port that line the road have added to the congestion.

“The vehicles are parked over a distance of 25 km from Ennore port to Kasimedu harbour on either side of the road.

Last week when we went to Kattur we were stuck in traffic because of the truckers’ flash strike near Ennore port,” rued Earnest Paul, president, Royapuram Residents’ Welfare Association.

“Despite representations by residents demanding regularisation of traffic and trailer movement, no action has been taken,” he said.

The roads in north Chennai are narrow and dotted with potholes. Haphazard parking of container trucks along Manali High Road, Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panchetty Road and Ennore Expressway has made matters worse.

“Despite being a four-lane stretch, the Manali-Ennore Expressway faces traffic congestion. Officials must take steps to prohibit the entry of trucks during peak hours,” said Liyaqath Hussain, a medical representative in Manali New Town.

“Concerned over the accidents in the locality, the government mooted the decongestion and road improvement project for Ennore-Manali road, but the work is progressing at snail’s pace,” alleged Nanchil P. Ravi, a representative of the All India Fishermen Association and a resident of Kasimedu

Contractors who initially took up the project abandoned it citing payment arrears and now the contract has been awarded to a new firm,” alleged Nanchil P. Ravi, a representative of the All India Fishermen Association and a resident of Kasimedu.

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