Chennai’s new mobility plan to focus on freight infrastructure

With key highways congested due to movement of trucks, government proposes eight freight corridors and 10 terminals.

Published: 10th May 2019 05:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2019 05:13 AM   |  A+A-

Motorists on the Chennai-Benguluru National Highway are no strangers to traffic congestion, caused by heavy vehicles | file photo

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Eight freight corridors and 10 freight terminals are being proposed under the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) for Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA), according to information available with Express. This comes after Chennai has been facing traffic congestion due to container trucks along the Ennore Expressway, Manali Expressway and Madhavaram 200-feet road.

It is learnt that the proposed eight freight corridors, which will also have mixed traffic movement, includes 133-km Chennai Peripheral Road from Katupalli Port to Mahabalipuram; 62.3 km Outer Ring Road from Ennore Port to Kelambakkam; 33 km Chennai Bypass Road from Madhavaram to Perungalathur; 14 km Manali Refinery High Road from Wimco Nagar to Madhavaram; 43 km National Highway-48 from Chennai Port to Sriperumbudur; 34 km NH-16 (GNT) from Chennai Central Station to Karanodai, 25 km Ennore High Road from Chennai Port to Ennore Port and 24 km Minjur Road from Sadayankuppam to Ponneri. 

Interestingly, the first phase of Chennai Peripheral Road (CPR) for which loan agreement worth `2,470 crore was signed between India and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will help improve connectivity of container movement from southern industrial districts to Ennore and Kattupalli.
The 133.65 km stretch, a semi-circle road surrounding the city at a distance of 25 km to 55 km from the city centre which starts at Ennore Port at north end and link to major radial roads such as NH5, NH205, NH4, NH45 and East Coast Road (ECR) at the south end, will be more of a high-technology road with intelligent transport system wherein the highway will be monitored by CCTV cameras as well as have flood measurement and warning system.

Similarly, the 43 km National Highway-48 from Chennai Port to Sriperumbudur will replace the proposed four-lane 19 km Maduravoyal-Chennai Port elevated corridor project that got stalled for the last five years and will now be a six-lane project till Napier Bridge and would play a significant role in reducing the traffic congestion and help being a corridor for movement of freight from Bengaluru to Chennai. It will also pave the way for linking Chennai-Bengaluru  Industrial Corridor.

The 24 km Minjur Road from Sadayankuppam to Ponneri is also significant as JICA has prepared a master plan to develop Ponneri as one of the nodes of Chennai-Bangalore Industrial corridor and even plans to have a smart city in 7,000 acres. 

Besides upgrading Maduravoyal, Madhavaram and Manjambakkam freight terminals, the Comprehensive Mobility Plan proposes seven new terminals. These include Oragadam, Karunkarancheri, Nallur, Manali, Koyambedu, Irungattukotai and Katupalli Port. This comes as there are only three terminals in and around Chennai Metropolitan Area. The new terminals are proposed as there is no organised access and dispersal of freight. There is also lack of quality facilities for existing terminals, as per the report.

The Comprehensive Urban Mobility Plan is prepared with the help of Urban Mass Transit Company for CMA. The move to have a new Comprehensive Urban Mobility Plan comes in the wake of the State government planning to improve upon the outdated Chennai Comprehensive Transportation Study (CCTS). Sources said existing CCTS typically focuses on mobility needs of car users, while CMPs are to address the mobility needs of all people.

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