Traffic congestion on the Grand Southern Trunk (GST) Road is set to ease soon, after key facilities were dedicated at the Madras Export Processing Zone –Special Economic Zone (MEPZ-SEZ), on Friday.

An additional exit and entry point for heavy vehicles arriving at and leaving the MEPZ–SEZ at Tambaram Sanatorium was among the facilities dedicated.

The creation of this entry point has been an important need, felt for long by units functioning inside the SEZ, where about 50 container trucks arrive and leave every day. These container trucks till now had to travel on the GST Road to reach the SEZ. The movement of huge container trucks is permitted on GST Road only between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. and this had led to certain operational problems and traffic congestion on the road.

Hence, the need for creating a rear gate so that the container trucks could have direct access to the SEZ from Chennai Bypass and those leaving the SEZ could travel quickly towards Chennai through the Bypass, officials at the SEZ said.

Further, vehicles of staff members as well as those transporting raw material and finished products and heading towards the western suburbs of Chennai, such as Porur and Poonamallee, would be able to use the rear gate to travel on the service lane. This would considerably ease congestion on GST Road, especially in the morning and evening rush hours.

However, there was no direct access to the Bypass towards Tiruchi, they said. They had approached the National Highways Authority of India as well as the commissionerate of municipal administration and water supply to speed up the process of creating the access, officials added.

There are 115 units inside the SEZ and several hundred private vehicles, including vans and buses, transport employees to different places, mostly to far-flung villages beyond Tambaram, officials pointed out.

Madhusudan Prasad, additional secretary, department of commerce, ministry of commerce and industry, dedicated the facilities at a function held at the SEZ in the presence of A.K. Bamba, development commissioner, MEPZ-SEZ. The additional entry and exit point (a rear gate) for the SEZ has been created at Burma Colony, which comes within the Tambaram municipal limits.

In another initiative, the State Highways Department has taken up the construction of a foot overbridge across GST Road, opposite the SEZ, for the benefit of employees of SEZ walking to the Tambaram Sanatorium railway station.

The work is currently on and the facility will have an escalator for the comfort of pedestrians, they added.

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