Corporation yet to widen or resurface side roads
The city is yet to get a traffic regulation and diversion plan even as metro contractors are all set to barricade the centre of S.A. Road from month-end to begin piling for the metro rail project.
Side roads have also not been widened or resurfaced by the Kochi Corporation. Mayor Tony Chammany said metro stakeholders had not informed the civic body of plans to commence civil works along S.A. Road and the need to divert light vehicles through side roads.
Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has said a meeting of traffic police and other stakeholders will be convened soon to chalk out a diversion plan. Sources associated with the metro said the corporation was duty-bound to repair its roads and remove bottlenecks irrespective of metro rail works. “The agency should have repaired damaged roads by now since rains stopped in November. S.A. Road is extremely congested even without metro work and side roads should have been widened years ago,” sources said.
They said vehicles moving from South bridge towards Vyttila could ideally be diverted through Jawahar Nagar and Subhash Bose Road that run parallel to S.A. Road. For this, portions of S.T.P. Road (that links Elamkulam on S.A. Road with Jawahar Nagar), Ambelipadam Road and Paradise Road (that link Vyttila Janatha with Subhash Bose Road) have to be widened and potholes repaired.
Similarly, vehicles moving in the opposite direction could be diverted through Chilavanoor Road and Ponneth Temple Road, which are in reasonably good condition, and also through Girinagar. There is also a suggestion that narrower side roads have one-way traffic.
The GCDA has promised completing widening and tarring of Chilavanoor Bund Road (that would run parallel to S.A. Road) by year end, following which a good share of vehicles in either direction may be diverted through it.
Elamkulam ward councillor Sojan Antony said tarring work on S.T.P. Road would commence from January 20. “There is a long-pending proposal to acquire 1.5 metres from either side of the road to widen bottle-necked portions. Widening can commence only after a State government notification is issued,” he said. South overbridge would witness utter chaos unless it is widened alongside metro works, he added.
Development of Paradise Road into a 10-metre-wide road is going on at a snail’s pace, despite serpentine traffic snarls at Vyttila. “Payment of compensation has been held up because of inadequate funds. Metro agencies could help in whatever way possible to speed up widening works,” said Ponnurunni ward councillor Soumya N. S.