Unable to find suitable parties for reclamation work at Kasimedu Fishing Harbour, Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) has sought the help of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) so that it can complete the Ennore-Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP) by December.

The 1.6-km road from zero gate to S.N. Chetty Street is a crucial link for EMRIP. A portion of this land passes through Kasimedu Fishing Harbour and fishermen have been using the vacant land in front of the gate for drying fish.

To widen the main carriageway and service road, ChPT built 150 fishing stalls.

The fishermen refused to move and instead made several demands, including reclamation of land and construction of auction platform.

Talking to The Hindu, a ChPT official said: “It is a minor work which can be done with the help of excavators. It involves deepening and building two metres wall in the sea along with construction of a small fishing jetty. It would take at least six months to complete this project and we have approached NHAI to help us in this regard.”

He also said they had already sorted out issues such as shifting of N4 Police Station and two petrol bunks bordering S.N. Chetty Street and realigning the road to avoid shifting of Bhavani Amman temple.

An NHAI official on condition of anonymity said: “The reclamation work can be started only after getting Coastal Regulatory Zone clearance. But that is pending for more than six months. This really shows that no work has taken place in this stretch. Moreover, only notices have been sent for relocating the petrol bunks. It will take some more time.”

Mentioning they have expertise in laying roads and not in dredging or reclamation of land, the official said it was for their head office to respond. “The carriage way has to be widened within the next four months or else the congestion issues at the port would not get solved easily,” he added.

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