“Maduravoyal-port project necessary for container terminal, dry port”

The Chennai Port has informed the high court that the elevated road project from Maduravoyal to the port is of great significance in view of the development of a container terminal with a capacity of four million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers per annum.

The operator for this project will be selected soon and the Letter of Approval is likely to be issued in the first quarter of the financial year.

The Chennai Port said this in its counter to a writ petition filed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) seeking the quashing of the records of the Chief Engineer, PWD, Water Resource Organisation, Chennai region, of January 28 this year and a direction to the authorities to coordinate and take all steps necessary to complete the elevated corridor within a planned time. By the communication, the PWD had sought revised CRZ clearance for the project. The NHAI said it was aggrieved because the Tamil Nadu Government was putting stumbling blocks in the implementation of the project.

Chennai Port also said that it had acquired 121.74 acres of land from SIPCOT at Mappedu, Sriperumbudur, for developing the Shri Rajiv Gandhi Dry Port and Multi-Modal Logistics Hub. This terminal will have a capacity of 1.66 million TEUs per annum. The Letter of Intent for this project is also likely to be issued within a couple of months. The viability of these projects depended on the commissioning of the elevated road project from the port to Maduravoyal.

The port said that of the total traffic handled by it in the last five years, 70 to 80 per cent cargo movement was by road. Of this, 70 per cent was towards the south of the port. Due to congestion of city roads and commencement of the metro rail works, the southern gate of the port could be used only for a few hours at night for cargo traffic. Hence, completion of the project was vital for cargo movement to and from Chennai port and the proposed dry port without hindering city road traffic.

The project would not only benefit the port but would also help vehicles use the corridor round the clock, the port said.