It can accommodate around 350 vehicles

A parking yard to accommodate as many as 350 container trucks is being developed by the Chennai Port Trust near Gate No.1 of the port in Kasimedu. The facility is expected to significantly ease traffic congestion on Suryanarayana Road, north Chennai.

The yard is coming up on a vacant land measuring 5.5 acres inside the port at a cost of Rs.2 crore. According to a senior official of the Chennai Port Trust, the work is under way and the facility is expected to be completed by December.

In the absence of adequate parking space inside the port, container-laden trucks line up on Suryanarayana Road, an important link road to the Ennore Expressway.

On the need for a parking yard, the official said there had been several complaints from the traffic police and Regional Transport Office (North West) in Tondiarpet, about traffic congestion in the area. The parking of the container trucks had also been one of the reasons for several accidents on Suryanarayana Road.

He said a four-lane gateway for speedy completion of the security clearances for the trucks would be established adjacent to the parking yard. The gateway, which would use radio frequency identification tag-enabled (RFID) technology for the clearances, would cost another Rs.2 crore.

A senior official at the RTO (North West) said that with hundreds of container trucks parked on Surayanarayana Road, the space available for other road users is reduced. A study conducted by the RTO this year found that the parking of the container trucks was one of the causes for several accidents on the road. Inadequate illumination on the road, which is maintained by the Highways department, presence of slums in the area, and the lack of speed-breakers were other factors that resulted in the accidents.

The RTO official said Chennai Port Trust was allotted 11.26 acres of vacant land by Tiruvottiyur Municipality in 2007 for creating a parking yard for container trucks.

The official of the Chennai Port Trust said that though the Municipality had offered land for such a facility, it did not renew the lease. Hence, the port trust decided to develop its own parking yard.