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Sunday, January 3, 2016

traffic snarls at Manali ~ Chennai, Vada Sennai !

Chennai [Madras ~ Chennapatnam] : North Madras is lot different than South Maras.  At Georgetown area [Flower bazaar] stands the centuries old Pattanam Koil – of Chennai Kesava Perumal and Chenna Mallikeswarar – known as the Great Pagoda.  This temple finds a mention in documents of 1710 and it is read that the temple in its original place was razed by British to ward off military threats of Frech and later was rebuilt at alternative site.  Manali Muthukrishna Mudaliar, the last Chief Merchant of the East India Company and noted patron of the arts, donated, collected and ensured funds for the construction of the temple.  The present day Manali in North Madras is an industrial area, created as Zone 2 of the Chennai Corporation.  The other day travelling to reach a warehouse nearer another famous CFS was really taken back to see the appalling conditions of road and the flow [or rather lack of it] of traffic, mainly container vehicles. 

In the city [as it is with most other cities] – traffic snarls are common.  In OMR – at Sholinganallur Jn; SRP and at Thiruvanmiyur, vehicles would stand for too long.  Mount road many a times moves bumper to bumper – there are smaller lanes where traffic would go haywire due some mistake willingly committed by some roaduser.  Political rallies and religious ones against a film and demonstration against US have made people undergo untold hardships for hours. Perhaps this road in Manali beats them all ~ for traffic snarl here  is not sudden but an ordinary occurrence, as it becomes hours of ordeal.

Most of the way is occupied by thousands of container trucks waiting for their turn to enter the Chennai port.  Often, one’s comfort is to the discomfiture of the other.  Things were totally amiss in areas like Royapuram and to prevent jams like this, the Chennai Port shifted gear – and now the snarls have moved elsewhere bringing hardship over there.  Indian Express of date reports that  plans are afoot to begin regulating container traffic a lot further away than it currently is — at Eranavur village near Ennore Port.

While generally prone to bumper to bumper traffic due to the large numbers of container trucks parked along the road, Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were particularly bad.According to traffic policemen and people stuck in the jam, the Manali Junction on the Manali High Road and the 100 feet road was host to unmoving traffic from late Tuesday night.“This is what generally happens every time a ship docks. Every container truck tries to rush into the Port and most get stuck outside, causing huge jams. Today was particularly bad, because three ships have docked,” said a traffic police official.The officials from the port and traffic police are attempting to solve the chronic issue by putting into place a new system.

A senior port official told Express that container trucks coming into Chennai Port would now have to be regulated from far outside the port, possibly at Ernavur village near Ennore Port.“Chennai Port officials are going to hold discussions with the Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) by the middle of next month to stop these container trucks at Ernavur,” said the official. “This has been an ongoing problem. Whenever, the ships enter the terminal, every truck operator wants a share of the cargo. They park their vehicles on the stretch so that they can export the cargo as well as return with imported cargo,” said the official.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that Chennai Port does not have separate gates for import cargo and export cargo. “It has been difficult to implement this due to non-cooperation from truck operators,” admitted officials. The statement is only buttressed by the ineffectiveness of earlier measures. In 2014, the customs department issued a notice which said that a trailer bound to the port had to come via the container freight station and would be allowed to enter the port only after proper documentation. But the system could not be adhered to due to the indiscipline of Trailer Owners’ Association.

Meanwhile, Chennai Port is also planning to do away with the manual processing methodology to track the container system and is coming up with a Radio Frequency Identification based container tracking system. This has already been tested through the container freight station, customs and terminal operators.While the Chennai Port is optimistic that the system would ease congestion, it has to be seen how effectively the authorities would be able to implement them.

That is the tale of woe of ‘Chennai, Vada Chennai’

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
31st Dec 2015.

Ps.: the latter part  reproduced from Indian Express.


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