The 900-metre Karaparamba-Karikkamkulam stretch of the Narikunni-Balussery State Highway passing through the city is almost unmotorable.
Vehicles crash through dangerous potholes every 100 metre or so and get unsettled on patch works on the narrow road. Most of the patch works have been done after digging the road to repair burst water pipes. This apart, motorists have to bear with heavy traffic flow. So, at times, a four-wheeler takes at least half an hour to travel this short distance.
A bottleneck on the stretch is the Krishnan Nair road junction, just 200 metres from Karikkamkulam. Vehicles, including private buses, deviate from this junction for proceeding to and fro from Malikkadavu. A week ago, a two-wheeler rider was killed when he lost his balance on a pothole and hit a sharp rock.
On- and off-street parking adds to the woes at the junction. Heavy vehicles transporting cement and lorries delivering chicken to slaughterhouses blatantly violate parking rules.
Next is the junction at the Government Homeopathic Medical College Hospital. The Sree Vaghbhatananda Guru park is situated in front of the college. It is here that O.P. Raman Road, leading to the civil station, joins the Karaparamba- Karikkamkulam road.
The junction is congested during peak hours as two narrow lanes deviate to two sides — one to the Jeevan Bhima Nagar and another to Lesly Villas.
Two mega projects — 25-storey and 40-storey apartments — are coming up on the stretch. Vehicles transporting construction materials cause road blocks here. The completion of these buildings will make matters worse, says C. Rameshan, an autorickshaw driver, at the junction.
The civic body recently constructed a bus bay and a bus shelter in front of the commercial complex housing a supermarket and textile shops, 100 metres from the Karaparamba junction. To a great extent, this has helped ease congestion on the road. But private buses refuse to enter the bus bay and instead halt on the road to drop and take in passengers waiting at the bus shelter.
Outside the bus bay is another narrow road along the Canolly Canal leading to the Karaparamba bazaar. Two-wheelers and autorickshaws go through and exit from this road resulting in accidents and traffic jams.
Motorists go through a harrowing experience on the last 100 metres leading to Karaparamba. A crater has developed in front of the mosque at the junction. Children attending madrassa classes inside the mosque premises face difficulties in crossing the road. The situation is no different in front of the mosques and madrassas at Karikkamkulam and at the homeopathic college, K. Hanifa, a fish vendor, says.
The Karaparamba junction is a nightmare for motorists and pedestrians alike. Five roads converge at the junction. The roads lead to the Eranhipalam junction; Kunduparamba; East Hill; Karikkamkulam; and People’s Road linking to the East Hill-Chakkorathukulam road.
Slabs of the footpaths on either side of the bridge across the Canolly Canal at the junction are broken. Yet pedestrians take the risk of walking over them lest they be knocked down by vehicles if they walk on the road.