Aug 1st 2014
The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore (ICCIC), has brought to the attention of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister the urgent need to take immediate steps to remove the infrastructure bottlenecks in the city.
Coimbatore, which is the second most industrially developed city in the State after Chennai and a major contributor to the kitties of the Central and State Government by way of taxes, has been feeling the need for improvement in infrastructural facilities, the ICCIC has said.
In a memorandum to Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the ICCIC President, D Nandakumar, pressed for the revival of the Sulur- Mettupalayam outer ring road proposal which was abandoned by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) apparently after protests from the farmers over land acquisition.
Pointing out that this link road would connect Coimbatore-Tiruchi, Coimbatore-Avinashi and Coimbatore-Sathyamangalam highways with the Coimbatore-Mettupalayam road, he wanted the proposal to be revived. Besides, the Western Bye-pass road should be formed to connect the Coimbatore-Palakkad and Coimbatore-Mettupalayam highways near Narasimhanaickenpalayam.
Drawing attention to the heavy traffic on the Coimbatore-Dindigul NH 209, he said this should be upgraded into a four-lane highway to facilitate transport of export goods from Coimbatore and Tirupur to the Tuticorin port.
The ICCIC President, referring to the infrastructural bottlenecks plaguing Coimbatore city, said the city needed multi level parking facilities in important commercial centres like Cross Cut Road, near Jail grounds in Gandhipuram, DB road in Rs. Puram, on Raja Steet near Thiyagi Kumaran Market, Hope College, Big Bazaar St, near EB office on 100 ft road and Ukkadam fish market. The city faced a pressing need for construction of flyovers to ease movement of vehicular traffic in important areas like Gandhipuram, Lakshmi Mill junction, Ramanathapuram and Singanallur junctions on Tiruchi road etc.
Nandakumar said the traffic congestion within the city would greatly ease if the main bus terminus now in Gandhipuram was shifted outside the city. The lorry terminal also should be shifted from within the city to outside.
Speaking to Business Line, the ICCIC President said two other important issues that deserved urgent consideration by the Government were completion of land acquisition for expanding the Coimbatore airport runway and preference for metro rail project rather than mono rail project to serve the long term traffic needs of Coimbatore.
Nandakumar said it was the delay in land acquisition of about 600 acres, of which about 150 acres were under the control of defence ministry, which was holding up the Coimbatore airport expansion. He said the Coimbatore airport was having conditional licence that was being renewed periodically. The length of the runway was inadequate for the landing of bigger aircraft. The airport should have safety area of 150 metres in length but at present it has only 75 metres of safety area. The temporary extension of permission could not go on forever. He urged the state government to expedite the land acquisition process and hand over the acquired land to the AAI so that the airport expansion project could be completed.
He said this is vital if the airport is to live up to the tag of an international airport. Already international flights are operating to Coimbatore in a limited way –to Singapore and Sharjah- but the lack of facilities to accommodate bigger aircrafts restricted the operation of more international flights to the city.
On the issue of metro vs mono rail for Coimbatore city, the ICCIC President pointed out that during his recent visit to Coimbatore the `Metro Man’ E Sreedharan had supported the metro rail project for the city in view of its current size and future growth potential. The city already has a population of more than 20 lakh and being an important industrial hub in the South, it was better to opt for metro rail rather than mono rail in view of the latter’s limited scope to meet the future traffic needs.