The district administration has finally woken up to the chaotic traffic conditions that have come into being at Edappally Junction. At a meeting on Wednesday, the district administration, along with other stakeholders, came up with solutions, albeit temporary ones.
Addressing media persons after the meeting, District Collector Sheikh Pareeth said the need for temporary solutions that can be implemented straightway were discussed.
A detailed master plan to be drawn up by Kochi Metro Rail Limited and National Highways Authority of India taking into account the proposed Kochi Metro Rail would offer a permanent solution to the traffic woes at the junction. A detailed report on the opening of Lulu Mall and the resultant traffic congestion would also be prepared.
Decongestion of the junction using the space available for widening is also being planned. The work will be taken up after a map is prepared based on the inspection carried out by authorities on Wednesday night. Clear demarcation of the lane will be made for vehicles to take free left at the junction.
Temporary measures include erecting barricades within the 200-metre radius of the junction, banning pedestrian crossings and U-turn on the stretch. The stretch will also be declared a no-parking zone.
Mr. Pareeth requested the mall authorities to continue providing free parking service to visitors for the time being.
The entry to the mall will be regulated and vehicles will be allowed in mainly through the entrance on Cheranalloor Road on NH-17.
Vehicles coming from the Aluva side will have to turn right at the traffic signal, enter NH-17 and then take a U-turn to enter the mall. This road will also be widened so as to facilitate free movement of at least two vehicles without holding up traffic. Motorists from Aluva can also take the Container Terminal Road at Kalamassery in order to skip Edappally Junction and enter the mall through the entrance on NH-17. Motorists from Ernakulam can proceed straight at the signal and enter the mall through the entrance facing NH-47. Pedestrian crossings near the mall are also being planned.
“Regulating entry to the mall and banning crossings and U-turns in the 200-metre radius of the junction are likely to bring considerable improvement in the traffic situation,” Mr. Pareeth said.
Meanwhile, representatives of the Edappally Toll unit of Kerala Vypari Vyvasayi Ekopana Samithi said that they felt slighted because the district administration failed to include them in the meeting after inviting them.
“We were denied the opportunity to air our views. Hundreds of traders in Edappally Toll have been hit by the traffic congestion and the unscientific traffic reforms,” Shajahan, secretary of the Edappally unit, told The Hindu.