Even after a decade, the greenfield bus terminal at Eenchakkal is yet to take off

After a long wait, the Central Bus Terminal of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) at Thampanoor has slowly spluttered to life, signalling what could be the beginning of the end of passengers’ travails. However, on the other side of the city, another terminal, hopes for which were raised a decade ago, waits without any sign of life.

The greenfield bus terminal at Eenchakkal, projected as a pill that would ease the congestion caused by KSRTC buses in the middle of the city, is yet to take off. The terminal was to be where long-distance buses of the transport corporation would operate from, with shuttle services to take passengers from there to Thampanoor.

A senior KSRTC official said a few more sanctions were required from the government for the project, slated to come up on five acres of the transport utility’s land near the Eenchakkal junction. The plot, as of now, has a board stating that it is an ‘operating centre’ of the KSRTC, with low-floor buses of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission using it as a parking lot.

Even in their simplest form, medians are a luxury to hope for on the stretch of National Highway bypassing the State capital. There is barely enough space on this two-lane stretch for vehicles to ply without any incident, so where can one possibly put up medians. But near junctions, medians, running at least to some distance, are necessary to bring some semblance of order.

Considering the manner in which they are built, medians are turning out to be tyre-killing props. The one near the roundabout at the Eenchakkal junction is one such. While approaching the junction from the direction of Chakka, one should be careful not to venture too close to the right-hand side of the road – way before the median here supposedly begins. At night, especially, this can spell disaster. Medians are supposed to be raised and where one begins there should, at the very least, be a cat’s eye marker or a signboard indicating that the road is split. But here, the median gradually tapers to the level of the road.

(Reporting by Dennis Marcus Mathew and Kaavya Pradeep Kumar)