Mayor calls for metropolitan transport authority
The timely operation of buses through the Vyttila Mobility Hub (VMH) will henceforth be monitored with the help of a radio frequency identification device (RFID).
Apart from streamlining the bus services through the hub, this will also help make available to commuters the time schedule of buses. Under this, bus crew will swipe their respective cards at the hub.
The new system was inaugurated on the premises on Saturday by Minister for Excise and Ports K. Babu.
In his address, he said that the hub is soon set to be a converging point for four modes of transport – buses, boats, metro rail and railway. “This will make it the first inter-modal hub in India that integrates so many commuting modes. A railway halt station has been proposed at Ponnurunni, near Vyttila.”
Mr Babu spoke of how the recent director board meeting of the VMH Society had decided to begin work on phase two of the hub, which is expected to cost Rs 383 crore.
He also went through the identity cards issued to autorickshaw drivers by the traffic police, which bear a photograph of the driver. Offering felicitations, Mayor Tony Chammany called for the establishment of a unified metropolitan transport authority to coordinate the operation of different modes of transport in Kochi.
“We plan to regulate the operation of autorickshaws in the city in view of widespread complaints. Many autorickshaws are driven by unscrupulous drivers with a dubious background. Some drivers hail from outside the State. Steps are being taken so that only autorickshaws with city permit operate in Kochi.”
The introduction of the system to monitor the movement of buses will increase the efficiency of the hub, which is poised to be the epicentre of growth in the city, said Benny Behanan, MLA.
Managing Director of VMH Society M. Beena said that over 20,000 short and long-distance commuters use the hub each day. “Very soon, inter-State buses will be based here.”
City Police Commissioner M.R. Ajithkumar; District Panchayat President Eldhose Kunnappillil; GCDA Chairman N. Venugopal; and the Ernakulam Regional Transport Officer T.J. Thomas were among those present.
Many passengers complained of the pathetic state of the narrow Kaniampuzha road, which leads to the hub. The road is ridden with potholes. An establishment which has encroached onto the road is yet to be removed from the road’s bell mouth. The footpath is too narrow and hampers free movement of pedestrians.