Riding along the national highway on the stretch between Vyttila and Aluva has become nightmarish for motorists thanks to the gaping potholes.

Even as Kochiites stare at the deep holes, both the National Highway Authority of India and the NH wing of the Public Works Department (PWD) continue their slumber.

And that has added to the cup of woes of travelling public who are already frustrated over the snail’s pace at which traffic had been progressing on many stretches dues to the ongoing Kochi Metro works.

Now the traffic has slowed down even further, especially near strategic traffic junctions at Edappally, Palarivattom and Vyttila. Congestion has been the order in these areas for the past several weeks. The situation is worst at Edappally, which had been witnessing a traffic mess for sometime now, with the potholes commanding special skills from drivers to manoeuvre around them.

No relief

There is no relief on the stretch leading up to Edappally overbridge, which is in dire need of repairs. Vehicles getting caught in no man’s land at the junction have become common owing to the slowdown in traffic.

That NHAI had re-surfaced the now deteriorated roads before the onset of the monsoon and it holds a mirror to the quality of work done. Movement of heavily-loaded lorries has not helped either.

The water-filled potholed stretches are often deceptive and pose danger to motorists who tend to abruptly swerve or break in their efforts to avoid them. The bumpy ride has also shot a hole in the pockets of motorists with vehicles developing constant problems. Not to count the expenses of treatment after the road does a villain act and pulls them down.

The service manager of a city car service centre said that potholes might inflict damage to vehicles and the cost of repairing that might vary between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 40,000 depending on the extent of impact. For instance, hitting a pothole may damage the oil sump that might cost between Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 5,000. It could also damage the steering and suspension components, he said.

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