North overbridge bays are to be demolished soon

The city is gearing up to face the traffic diversions that will be in place when vehicles proceeding west through Banerjee Road are diverted through alternative roads on a trial basis on August 27.

The trial run is a prelude to pulling down the two-wheeler bays of the North overbridge.

The traffic police plan to divert vehicles proceeding westward of Kaloor (to M G Road, Menaka etc.,) through the Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road, the Pullepady-Thammanam Road, the Kalamasssery-Goshree Container Road (in the case of vehicles coming from Kalamassery).. Buses and other heavy vehicles would be allowed to use the bridge.

The aim is to assess the traffic pattern and tide over hassles if any, said Tom Jose, the Managing Director of Kochi Metro Rail Limited. The Corporation of Kochi, merchants and traders have promised their support for the traffic modifications, he said. Suggestions can be sent to www.kochimetro.org, he said.

A few bottlenecks would have to be overcome so that vehicles can proceed through the alternative roads.

“The roads would have to be made pothole free, parking restrictions imposed over them and footpaths made safe for pedestrians. Obstacles to free traffic movement in junctions like Kaloor, Katrikadavu, GCDA Junction, Pallimukku etc., would have to be removed. Congestion over the two-lane South overbridge and GCDA's Katrikadavu bridge might increase since they have four-lane roads on either side,” said a traffic police official.

The Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) has begun work to repair potholes on the Pullepady-Padma Junction stretch of the Thammanam-Pullepady Road. The numerous potholes on the eastern side of the stretch, between Pullepady and Thammanam too have to be repaired.

Mr. Tom Jose said that the toll booth at the Pullepady overbridge would be relocated since it is hampering traffic flow. The Government has allocated Rs. 25 crore as the initial installment to acquire land to widen the Padma-Pullepady-Thammanam-NH Bypass Road into a four lane one. The stretch would be made two-lane in the first phase.

Answering a question about illegal autorickshaw stands, haphazard parking, encroachers and traffic-police cabins obstructing free movement of vehicles at already-narrow junctions, Mr. Jose said that the District Road Safety Council must take note of this. They must ensure wider junctions and ample space for vehicles to take free-left turns.

“Traffic movement in the city will be smoother once the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) widens the North bridge (in 18 months) and constructs the Salim Rajan flyover (in 15 months). The agency would also widen narrow stretches on the Banerjee Road (in 12 months), the M G Road and South Railway Station approach road, using the Rs 158 crore earmarked by the State Government,” Mr. Jose said.

Reacting to the demand from the DMRC to have a single-window system to interact with Government departments, he said that the agency can take up such issues with Kochi Metro Rail Limited.

The DMRC has also demanded speedy steps to widen and repair side roads so that light vehicles can be diverted through them.

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