Work on widening the narrow 1.6-km stretch is expected to be completed in seven months

Work to widen the narrow 1.6 km road leading to the zero gate of Chennai Port is expected to be completed by March 2013. A part of the Ennore-Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP), the road from S.N. Chetty Street to N4 Police Station, is a crucial link for the completion of the project in north Chennai.

Recently, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is implementing the project to widen four major roads, had cleared land inside the Kasimedu fishing harbour where fish was being sold and dried. Sources said that one vehicular underpass and two pedestrian underpasses have already been completed, and that work on one vehicular underpass is progressing well, while another is ready.

After excavation, the construction of a retaining wall and four additional lanes will be taken up. In effect, the road will be 10.5 metres wide and have six lanes. The work on the additional carriageway will be completed and traffic diverted on it, after which work on the present carriageway will be taken up. A temporary service road will be constructed for the easy movement of fisherfolk near the auctioning area, without disturbing their daily routines, the official said.

Chennai Port Trust has meanwhile applied for Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) permission to take up reclamation work. It has been sent to the district-level committee, which is headed by the District Collector. It will then be sent to the State-level committee. As soon as CRZ clearance is obtained, work will be taken up and completed within 45 days. The port has also promised to take up dredging work within 30 days, and is currently waiting for the arrival of a crane. Dredging is likely to be taken up in a couple of days.

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