K Line from Thailand will ferry Ford, Toyota cars, says CMD

Ennore Port Ltd (EPL), which has crossed two milestones on handling cars, is all set to achieve one more on Thursday.

On August 4, cumulative car exports from EPL crossed two lakh units and, for the first time, it received 110 sports utility vehicles from Thailand. The 100 pure car carrier K Line will arrive on Thursday.

Having commenced car export operations in September 2010, EPL exported about 1.50 lakh cars until May 2012 through 70 pure car carriers. Speaking to The Hindu, EPL chairman-cum-managing director S. Velumani said: “This is the first time we have handled imports from our port. The Mitsubishi Pajeros were brought in through pure car carrier Eridanus Leader. On its return journey, Eridanus Leader carried cars to South Africa. On Thursday, K Line will be ferrying Ford and Toyota cars.”

According to Mr. Velumani, several car manufacturers in and around Chennai have expressed their willingness to use the Ennore Port as a gateway either to import or export cars as the Chennai Port Trust is bogged down by congestion issues.

But some of them are reluctant to use EPL as the tardy pace of the Ennore-Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP) and haphazard parking of trailers on all four lanes on Inner Ring Road and Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panchetti Road have hampered the free flow of traffic.

Sources in the National Highways Authority of India said the situation might turn worse, if the State government failed to widen the road at Vallur junction.

Pleas by port authorities for road widening have yet to yield positive results. Completing EMRIP without widening the North Chennai Thermal Power Station road will not serve any purpose, he added.