“We are doing good business here,” Jesna, who runs a Kudumbasree kiosk.
It has been over a year since the Vyttila Mobility Hub was commissioned, but the dream of converting it into an inter-modal hub remains unfulfilled.
Preliminary works on the boat jetty proposed on the hub’s eastern side has not begun. Even paperwork for the railway halt intended at vacant land in Vyttila or adjacent Ponnurunni is yet to start. The projects are crucial for ensuring seamless inter-change of transporting modes for commuters.
Sources associated with the hub said the boat jetty should have been completed in the first phase of the project, providing connectivity to Kakkanad, West Kochi, etc.
“It seems a distant reality, despite phase II works set to begin within a few months. We identified the location and sent the detailed proposal to the Irrigation Department, but they have not acted on it. The fund for the purpose can be availed from NABARD.” A visit to the jetty’s proposed location shows that it is weed-infested and there is little sign of any construction activity.
As for the railway halt, P.L. Ashok Kumar, the Ernakulam Area Manager of Southern Railway said no agency has so far approached the Railways for a halt near the hub.
The halt was mooted to help commuters avoid travel through congested roads to reach Ernakulam Junction and Town railway stations.
“The proposal is a good one. The availability of land and the changes that will have to be made in train timings have to be considered. Basic amenities too will have to be readied,” Mr. Ashok Kumar said. The Metro Kochi Vikasana Samithi has demanded steps to ensure the speedy completion of the railway halt.
“The Railways must include this in its oncoming budget,” said Abdul Rasheed Haji, the samithi’s general secretary.
Except for the delay in making it an inter-modal hub, bus commuters and other stakeholders are generally happy with the arrangements in place at the hub.
They expressed satisfaction at the steps being taken to streamline bus services, to ensure the cleanliness of the precincts and also the pay-and-use toilets. Moreover, eight private security guards, including two women are on duty at the hub, during day and night.
Still, a few issues such as the narrow Kaniampuzha road that leads to the terminal and the even narrower exit points have to be addressed. There is a proposal to build a two-lane road on the southern side of the Kaniampuzha road, by acquiring the hub’s land.