The movement of buses and heavy vehicles through the SN Junction-Puthiyakavu stretch in Tripunithura has been indefinitely banned, turning matters from bad to worse for commuters of the town.
The condition of the 3-km-long arterial stretch that was dug up by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) turned miserable in the heavy monsoon rain. The agency carried out pipe-laying works in late May, just before the rains. After the works got over, it did not restore the road, making life miserable for pedestrians, commuters and merchants.
The ban on buses will affect commuters who depend on public transport. “But there was no option since heavy vehicles are likely to topple after falling into the trenches that were dug at a depth of five feet, and have been left improperly filled by the KWA. People were also complaining of dirty water getting splashed on road users and shops,” said the Chairman of Tripunithura Municipality R. Venugopal.
He said that the PWD is expected to do tarring only after the rains. “But we will speed up efforts to fill the damaged portions with metal mixture, before Athachamayam in September.”
The decision to ban heavy vehicles was taken on Tuesday after a meeting with bus operators, merchants and others. On the possible worsening of traffic snarls at SN Junction, Irumpanam and Karingachira when buses are diverted through the SN Junction toll bridge, Mr Venugopal said that there is no alternative. Instructions would be given to permit diverted buses trough the bridge without levying toll.
Pointing to numerous shops in the vicinity that downed shutters for the past many days, Bhaskaran, who runs a bakery at SN Junction said that it is because of a slump in sales because customers are avoiding shops on the patchy road. “Shop owners got together and filled some of the potholes, but the heavy rain undid the works. Inadequate street lights made matters worse.”
“The KWA had promised to complete pipe-laying works and restore the road within a month, but exceeded the deadline and this caused the whole problem,” said Remya, a staffer at an electronics goods shop at SN Junction.
It is learnt that the PWD will soon finalise the tender for the works.