Threaten to resume operation through NH Bypass

Tongues are lashing out at the threat lobbed by the container lorry operators that they will resume trips through the Kundanoor-Edappally National Highway(NH) Bypass this week.

Trade Union Coordination Committee (TUCC) had given a call to lorry operators to ply through the Bypass from Monday rather than heed traffic police direction to use Kundanoor- Pettah-Seaport-Airport Road-Kalamassery-Container Road-Vallarpadam route.

But Monday came and went without much trouble as the police deterred trucks attempting to use the Bypass. Thanks to the police, Kundanoor, Vyttila, Palarivattom and Edappally junctions remained comparatively navigable. Congestion at the junctions had eased during the past one month after container lorries were barred entry into the Bypass.

The president of Ernakulam District Residents Associations’ Apex Council (EDRAAC), P. Rangadasa Prabhu, spoke in dread of the situation where container trucks too entered the only work-free area of the city that’s otherwise squeezed up between the Metro Rail barricades. “The traffic police took the right decision to divert them through the Seaport-Airport Road,” he said.

“Assistant Commissioner of Traffic Police (Edappally) P.P. Shams said the Vallarpadam-Kalamassery Container Road was built for container-laden lorries which would otherwise have operated through the busy city roads. We do not intend to go back on our decision”.

The TUCC has cited an increase of Rs 1,700 per trip in operation cost as a reason for preferring NH Bypass. “Lorries that are diverted have to cover 30 km extra on a return trip. Moreover, the sole Ro-Ro (Roll-in Roll-out) vessel (that ferries container lorries between Vallarpadam and Willingdon Island) is often pulled out of service for repairs,” said P.P. Ashique, the organisation’s chairman.

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