Says it affects work on Rs.600-crore project to improve four roads

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has asked the traffic police, Chennai Port, Customs and container freight station (CFS) to coordinate and ensure that container trucks are not forced to wait on roads leading to the port.

The NHAI is implementing the Rs.600-crore project to improve four major roads – Ennore Expressway, Manali Oil Refinery Road, Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panchetty Road, and the northern portion of Inner Ring Road – in north Chennai.

“The project is at a critical stage now as most of our work can be carried out in the summer. If vehicles pile up on the roads, we are unable to transport material to the work spot. Our aim is to complete a major portion of the work before the monsoon,” said an official associated with the project.

On Tuesday, a meeting to review the project was held. Chennai Port Trust Chairman Atulya Misra, Industries Secretary N. Sundaradevan and Highways Secretary T.K. Ramachandran, officials of NHAI and Customs, traffic police and representatives of Chennai Custom House Agents Association and Trailer Owners Associations participated.

“Several alternatives were discussed and, in a week, decisions will be taken. We want to ensure that individual agencies cooperate to complete the project. Container vehicles will not wait on road without documents. Container trucks waiting to enter the port at zero gate must occupy only a single lane and not block the rest of the road. Barricading will be done so that there is space for other vehicles to move,” said an official, who participated in the meeting.

K. Asaithambi, secretary, Chennai port trust trailer, lorry, driver, cleaner Anna Labours Union, said that they had suggested that containers that had documents ready should be given stickers.

Only those with stickers should be permitted to proceed to the port by the traffic police.

“Those who do not possess stickers will be routed back to the respected container freight station (CFS),”

Talking to The Hindu, A.V. Vijayakumar president of the Chennai Custom House Agent Association, said at present only the Madhavaram CFS was checking and clearing container vehicles.

“We have asked the officials to introduce the system in two more stations on a 24-hour basis to avoid congestion.”

Customs officials said though there was a public notice that all vehicles to carry valid documents, vehicle operators ignored it.

The next review meeting will be held on June 1, the sources said.

Keywords: roadworks

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012