The National Highways Authority of India has completed the construction of truck bays on northern portion of Inner Ring Road. The kilometre-long bays that have come up on either side of the road after the Madhavaram bridge junction will allow parking of around 500 container carrying trucks at a time.
Around 3,500 containers use the four roads — Ennore Expressway, Manali Oil Refinery Road, Tiruvottiyur –Ponneri- Panchetti Road and northern portion of Inner Ring Road — that form part of the Rs. 600 crore Ennore Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP) that is being developed to improve connectivity to Ennore and Chennai ports. Every day, serpentine queues of trucks carrying containers wait on these roads in order to enter the Chennai port.
“In the last few days, we have been parking our vehicles in the bays and it enables us to avoid using the carriageway or blocking traffic. Another truck parking bay has also come up on the MORR near the MFL junction. But that is a small one. Provisions like toilets and drinking water should also be provided at these spots,” suggested E. Kalimuthu, a trailer driver. The facility along the IRR has been constructed at a cost of Rs. 8 crore and the one on the MORR at Rs. 2 crore.
Chennai Steel Yard Trailer Owners’ Association Joint Secretary J. Raja, who welcomed such parking lots, said that more parking space could be created along Ennore Expressway and TPP Road. “There is a parking lot in the space that belonged to the erstwhile Tiruvottiyur municipality but that is also not enough for the number of trailers that use the road,” he said.