Chennai, November 17: Cargo vehicles will not be able to use the Chennai ports Gate No 1 (opposite War Memorial) till March due to traffic restriction on the Poonamallee High Road for the Chennai Metro Rail project. The traffic restriction is likely to affect companies like Hyundai, BHEL and Caterpillar that mainly use the Gate No 1 located on the beach road, as their vehicles will have to take a roundabout route through North Chennai to reach the port. One of the worst affected companies will be Hyundai, which exports large volume of cars using this gate. Vehicles using the Gate No 1 are allowed to ply only between midnight and 4 am. For this a special permission is required from the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic).
However, in the last four days, giving this permission has been suspended till March end, sources in the industry said. Every day, nearly 40 car trucks (each with eight vehicles) are brought to the port through the Gate No 1. Similarly, a number of vehicles with cargo that need to be sent on an urgent basis use the gate daily. These vehicles will now have to use the Zero gate in Royapuram. For this, vehicles from Hyundai factory will have to take the Manali road to reach Royapuram. They have to join a long queue of container trailers that wait for hours to enter the port.
Logistics cost This will also increase the logistics cost by 10-15 per cent, sources said. There is already huge congestion outside the port in North Chennai. The diversion is likely to add to the problems as these car carriers are long in length, sources said. An official of Hyundai said that the re-routing came up quite suddenly and the company officials have been meeting authorities to seek support. We hope that the authorities will advise a viable alternate solution, which does not compromise on the safety of the public or hamper the progress of the metro rail construction but yet does not inconvenience exporters. Perhaps a meeting could be convened for all concerned to brainstorm and come up with a solution.