Export-import activities came to a halt at the Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) on Sunday evening as drivers and cleaners of the Anna Labour Union struck work demanding immediate repairs to the Ennore-Manali Road and re-opening of Gates 2 and 2A.
Incidentally, the strike took place barely a day after Shipping Minister, G.K. Vasan assured the operators that the patch work would be taken up on priority basis and would be completed by the month-end and the Ennore-Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP) within two years. Besides, on Saturday, ChPT and Ennore Port released its share of Rs.19 crore and Rs.5 crore respectively towards EMRIP.
Talking to The Hindu, the port officials said: “Though ChPT has 10 gates, only ‘0' gate is used currently for moving import and export containers. Gates 2 and 2A have remained closed for the last three days following a fatal accident involving three persons. Gate 10 is opened only at nights for general cargo.
The requests by ChPT and the container terminals operators seeking permission to operate Gate 10 to ease pressure on ‘0' Gate have failed to deliver the expected results.”
At around 5.30 p.m. the drivers and cleaners struck work demanding motorable roads. K. Asai Thambi of Anna Labour Union apprised workers about the recent developments and a meeting scheduled with ChPT Chairman on Monday. Subsequently, the workers resumed work.