Heavy traffic congestion along key routes
With the city in the grip of the festive season rush, commuting by road has become a nightmare due to the lack of planning and co-ordinated efforts to ease the traffic congestion.
Exactly a week before ‘Uthradam’, major city roads are witnessing long queues of vehicles, especially in the peak hours.
A journey from Palarivattom to M.G. Road, which used to take nearly 30 to 40 minutes even otherwise, has turned more arduous with commuters complaining that it now takes up to an hour to cover this stretch.
“This is one of the worst routes to travel in festival times. Staring from Palarivattom, the first major block is near Jawaharlal Nehru international stadium at Kaloor. Then it’s a bumper-to-bumper snarl of 20 to 25 minutes to reach the nearby Kaloor. More of the same continues till you cover the North Railway overbridge,” said Radakrishnan V., an employee of a private firm in the city.
A trip from Vyttila to M.G. Road and nearby areas can be just as gruelling. Commuters say that there is heavy traffic congestion from Kadavanthra to Manorama junction.
Bus employees also admit that plying on city roads is difficult, especially during the festival season. A conductor of a private bus said that there will be no respite unless the authorities initiate infrastructure projects like flyovers to ease the congestion.
Nizar Karukapadath, president of the Circular Bus Owners’ Association, said that while they don’t cut the number of trips, the timing of their trips gets disrupted. “The schedule of each trip gets delayed by anywhere between 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Over the years we have become accustomed to heavy traffic during the last 10 days leading to Onam,” he said. Mr. Karukapadath said that while the only solution is to control the entry of private vehicles into the city during the season, it is not practical.
Sajith, an autorickshaw driver who operates from the stand near General Hospital, said that the traffic scene in the city becomes unpredictable during the festival seasons. “There is no particular point in the city that is free of traffic snarls. It could crop up anywhere in the stretch between Edappally and Thevara at any time,” he said. Pointing at the parking along both sides of M.G. Road, Sajith said that banning parking on roadsides will ease the traffic situation in the most important road in the city. But then it will affect shopping as well, he added as an afterthought.