It is now only a question of a few years when containers unloaded at
container terminals in Chennai port will reach the city’s outskirts within half
an hour as the work on the much delayed Chennai Port- Maduravoyal Elevated
corridor is all set to begin. It now takes at least three hours to cover the
distance causing severe congestion.
The Detailed Revised Project Report prepared by a private firm is
likely to be ready within a week and on its receipt the resumption of work on
the project is only a question of time according to an official of the National
Highway Authority of India, the promoters of the project.
Besides sanctioning a sum of Rs 3,500 Crores towards the revised cost
of the project, the government has also decided to extend the Elevated Corridor
from Maduravoyal to Sriperumpudur the automobile hub of the city, a distance of
about 20 kilometers under the Bharat Mala project.
The Elevated Corridor is now designed as a six lane high way with a
width of around thirty meters. The original design is for four lanes. There
will be ten exit ways from the corridor in various parts of the city including Kamaraj
road near the Port, Sterling Road, Koyambedu and Ponnamallee high road. Two
wheelers and autorickshaws will not be permitted to use the corridor primarily meant
for Chennai port traffic.
The foundation stone for the project was laid way back in 2009 and the
project was expected to be completed at a cost of Rs 1,665 Crores. Pillars were
raised in various parts of the city for the corridor when Jayalalitha
government came to power. It stopped the project in 2012 on grounds of
environment. The project was stuck for nearly six years,
The project was taken up after she passed away last year. The delay in
the project had almost eclipsed the fortunes of Chennai port. Congestion due to
merely one exit from Chennai port forced the Shipping lines to skip the Chennai
Port and go in for nearby Kamaraj, Kattupalli and Krishnapatnam ports.
A shipping agent said late Chief Minister Jayalalitha caused
irreparable damage to the fortunes of Chennai port by stopping work on the
elevated corridor project. It is colossal loss of revenue for the port besides
damaging its reputation.