Spanning about 30km, the Rs. 600 crore project starts at ChPT and ends at Vallur junction
Even as the Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) is grappling with problems to widen one end of Ennore-Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP), the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company (TNRDC) has gone ahead with widening the other end of the road by awarding the work order to private parties.
The Rs. 600-crore project starts at ChPT zero gate and ends at Vallur junction, spanning about 30km.
One has to travel further 7.6km from this point to reach Ennore Port and another 3km to reach Kattupalli Port.
ChPT is facing congestion problem at zero gate as the road is narrow there.
TNRDC has split the contract into three — widening of two-lane North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) Road of five km and Ennore Port Road of 2.6km and construction of Road Over Bridge at Athipattu Railway Station.
The first-two contracts have been awarded to Madurai-based contractor R. Ramu and the last one to Vijay Nirmal Construction. The cost of these projects are Rs. 52 crore and Rs. 45 crore respectively. It has to be completed within 10 months so that Toshiba JSW Turbine and Generator could move heavyweight turbines in and out of Ennore Port. Sources said it was decided to expand NCTPS Road and build new Athipattu ROB as well, following pressure from Japanese firms that are based in Manali Industrial Area. Besides, Japanese and Korean car makers are planning to use Ennore and Kattupalli ports as an alternative gateway.
NCTPS Road is a two-lane private road, which is dotted with petroleum firms on either side. As per the plan, the seven metre road will be widened by three metres on either side to accommodate heavy vehicles including container lorries.
Port users said the road should be widened further as the coming days might witness huge movements of container laden vehicles to Ennore and Kattupalli ports or else it would result in congestion similar to that of Chennai Port.
However, the contractors said NCTPS Road could be widened only marginally due to the existence of water and oil pipelines on both the sides.
The first 300 metres of road at ChPT zero gate could not be widened following objection from Kasimedu fishermen, who are demanding reclamation of land on seafront, for having parted with their land in lieu of construction of main carriageway for EMRIP.
The work has not been started for want of contractors and a delay in getting Coastal Regulatory Zone clearance from the Pollution Control Board.