New facility on the line of toll plazas, says official

Five tailor-made ‘container offices' have been installed at the Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) zero gate to expedite clearance of container-laden vehicles.

Fitted with air-conditioners these container offices fulfil the long felt need of Customs officials, who have been demanding proper facilities at the entry and exit gate to clear goods and vehicles as they had toil for long hours.

Triway Forwarders, which runs a private Container Freight Station in Manali New Town, has converted 10x10 foot containers into office space. The new facility was inaugurated by the Shipping Secretary, P.K. Sinha, on Friday.

Talking to The Hindu, some of the port users said, “It is only a temporary arrangement. We need Customs officials at each gate on a 24-hour basis to clear consignments. Besides, steps have to be taken on a war footing to commence the work on 1.6 km stretch from the zero gate to S.N. Chetty Street and opening of Tiruvottiyur Parking Yard.”

A ChPT official said the new facility has been modelled on the lines of toll plazas that eliminate the need for the driver or cleaner to walk down the extra mile to get the consignment cleared. Such container offices have been installed at six gates – three each for imports and exports.

“The new arrangement will not ease congestion at the zero gate as vehicles are stopped and diverted at different points by traffic police near toll gate, Ernavoor bridge, Manali and Tirvottiyur-Ponneri-Panchetti road. We need proper traffic management system and also a container freight station,” said one of the logistics suppliers.

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