The Edappally-Aroor NH 47 bypass is all set for a makeover before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives here to inaugurate the Emerging Kerala investment summit on Wednesday.
Though toll was imposed on motorists, the 16-km-long stretch was found wanting in many aspects because of inadequate upkeep and lack of streetlights. This causes accidents on the bypass and service roads. The National Highways Authority of India blamed the Kochi Corporation for not installing streetlights.
The Kochi project director of the NHAI, C T Abraham, assured that weeds and bushes will be cleared off the medians on the Edappally-Vyttila stretch in the coming days. “Four earth-movers have been engaged for the purpose. Potholed portions of the bypass, including Vyttila Junction, will be black-topped before the Prime Minister arrives,” he said.
The highway’s tarred surface was washed away at many places in Vyttila and Chalikkavattom in the rains.
The quality of road re-laying at Vyttila has also left much to be desired, while inadequate drainage has resulted in water-logging on the bypass and service roads. These have damaged the tarred portion extensively.
The overgrowth of vegetation on the medians has hampered visibility at U-turns. There are instance of motorists being caught unawares by pedestrians walking into the bypass out of the bushy median.
The diversion of buses and other vehicles from Ponnurunni through side roads to the NH bypass because of the construction of the Ponnurunni overbridge is causing traffic hold-ups near Chalikavattom. Sources in the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala attributed the delay in obtaining the nod from the Commissioner of Railway Safety to lay girders over the rail lines for the postponement of the deadline to December 31.