Number of passenger car units along NH 47 exceeds 55,000
Widening of the Edappally-Aroor NH Bypass into six lane and subsequent development of the four major junctions in the stretch hold the key to smoothening traffic flow along the stretch.
While flyovers at Edappally, Palarivattom, Vyttila and Kundanoor appear inevitable to decongest the junctions on NH 47 Bypass, they would take a couple of years to materialise. The fear is also rife that the toll along the stretch will be hiked manifold if the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) constructs the flyovers.
It is here that widening the congested bypass – jam-packed with vehicles and pedestrians, gains relevance. The daily passenger car unit (PCU) in each direction along the stretch exceeded 55,000 in 2012.
There is a noticeable increase in the speed of vehicles at six-lane portions of the Vyttila-Aroor NH Bypass, as compared to the four-lane ones. The NHAI’s Kochi Project Director C. T. Abraham said land was available on the 16-km-long Edappally-Aroor stretch to widen it into six lane. “Unused land on the side of service roads can be added to the width of the bypass.”
On widening the four congested junctions in the stretch, Mr. Abraham said it could be done provided the State government acquired land and handed it over to the NHAI.
As part of this, portions of a few buildings that have been built in violation of norms at junction bell mouths will have to be sliced and parking banned.
Simultaneously, the four-laning and extending of the Seaport-Airport Road up to the airport will reduce congestion on the bypass. The State budget had set apart Rs. 25 crore to widen and surface 3 km of the road south of Kalamassery.
“The widening up to Irumpanam near Tripunithura and the airport extension will be done in a phased manner. Allocation of more funds will considerably speed up the process,” sources said.
Currently, the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) is engaged in acquiring land to construct two major bridges across the Periyar, as part of the road’s airport extension from Kalamassery. The work has been tendered. The cost of land acquisition for the extension work has not been estimated.
The completion of the much-delayed Tripunithura Bypass too will decongest the NH Bypass since vehicles wanting to gain access to the Seaport-Airport Road can do so by taking a turn from Kundanoor Junction.