With the High Court intervention, the police and district administration will be on their toes to decongest traffic n the city.
A Division Bench had recently directed the police and the Kochi Corporation to file an affidavit detailing the measures taken so far to resolve the traffic problems in the city.
In fact, Justice V. Chitamabresh’s intervention by initiating suo motu action was timely as the Edappally-Palarivattom stretch faced acute traffic snarls soon after the opening of a mall at Edappally.
According to the petitioner, Basil Atipetty, High Court Lawyer, though the police had assured the court of various measures and made some efforts to make the traffic along the stretch smooth for a few days, it was now back to square one. He added in his petition that it was really the lack of coordination between the motor vehicle department and the police that was creating traffic congestions in the city. His contention was that as the government was collecting road taxes, the government departments had a duty to take steps to end the woes of the travelling public. It has been pointed out that the traffic problems were caused mainly by road side parking of vehicles, absence of bus bays, obstruction by hoardings on road margins, narrow bridges, inadequate number of railway over bridges, encroachment of the vendors and so on.
No concrete plan had really been in place to solve the traffic problems.
Even ambulances got stuck in traffic jams for hours. Commuters, especially women, found it difficult to reach their destinations on time because of these traffic blocks, he pointed out.
In a separate petition, Edappally Railway Gate Residents Association President C. M. Ashraf said that traffic congestion had been the order of the day during peak hours for the last 10 years at Edappally, one of the busiest inter-junctions in the city.
“No steps had been taken so far either by the district administration or Corporation to mitigate the hardships of commuters and pedestrians, he said.
The opening of a shopping mall of international standard at Edappally was really the last straw on the camel’s back.
The petitioners wanted the court to issue a directive for classifying the short-term and long-term projects proposed for traffic decongestion .They also sought a directive to fix deadline for completing these projects.
The petitioner said that a directive could be issued for widening the roads near the National Highway 17 so that traffic from NH to Kaloor through Ponekkara and Elamakkara roads could be diverted.
The Railways could consider a proposal for reopening the closed railway gate near Edappally railway station.