Residents’ associations urge State government to take immediate steps

The Ernakulam District Residents’ Associations Apex Council (EDRAAC) has demanded that the State government take immediate steps to decongest the four major junctions on the Edappally-Aroor NH 47 Bypass.

“The government must take a serious look at the numerous proposals put forth by different agencies to streamline traffic along the 16-km-long Bypass. The proposals by NHAI and other agencies must be discussed and steps taken at the earliest to begin construction works,” said P. Rangadasa Prabhu, the council’s president.

DMRC proposal

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had projected the cost of flyovers at the four junctions at Rs. 1,450 crore, while its estimate for an elevated flyover above the NH Bypass is Rs. 4,500 crore.

Recently, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) volunteered to build a four-lane flyover at Edappally at a cost of Rs. 86 crore.

The land to be acquired works out to 0.57 hectares, which includes the land that houses 12 structures. While NHAI’s six-lane flyover which is estimated to cost around Rs. 700 crore, for and requires massive land acquisition at the junction, DMRC’s plan is to integrate the metro’s pillars and viaduct at the flyover’s centre, thus saving on cost and time.

KITCO Limited (formerly Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation Limited) had mooted two flyovers at Vyttila to decongest the biggest junction in Kerala.

Cost advantage

Cost advantage apart, the users of flyovers built by DMRC and KITCO will not have to pay toll. NHAI had gone on record that the toll amount through the Bypass would be hiked about three times once it constructs the four flyovers.

Six years ago, the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) conducted a traffic survey at the four junctions.

It was found that the passenger car units (PCUs) per hour crossed the 5,000 mark, pointing to the need for a flyover and wider junctions. However, NHAI and State government have not zeroed in on a practical solution to decongest the Bypass.

Minister for Public Works V.K. Ibrahim Kunju said Egis India, the consultants appointed to shortlist a proposal to ease traffic chaos, would submit its report by April-end. One of the proposals is the widening of the bypass into six lanes. For this, land is available except at junctions where minimal land acquisition is required.

This is a feasible proposition compared with costly proposals like an elevated highway.

The widening and extension of Seaport-Airport Road which runs parallel to the bypass, is yet another cost-effective option to curb snarls at junctions on the Bypass. The two roads can be linked by building a couple of roads in the east-west direction.

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