Staff Reporter

Ernakulam south zone residents' forum raises demands

KOCHI: A railway station at Vytilla, a stop for trains and highway connectivity to the Edappally railway station, and a suburban rail network with Kochi city as the base are prominent among the demands raised by the Ernakulam South Zone Residents' Apex Council to develop railway infrastructure in the city.

These would considerably decongest the city as train passengers have to travel all the way to the Ernakulam Junction and Town stations now, to board trains. Building a station at/near Vytilla and stoppage for trains at the Edappally railway station would prevent the need for people from residential localities in the east and north of the city to travel all the way to the congested western parts of the city to board trains. Similarly, the Edappally station can be linked with NH 17, said V.B. Jinnah, council president.

The body has also demanded speedy completion of the long-overdue railway overbridge projects at Atlantis, Pullepady, Pachalam, Edappally, Ponnurunni, Eroor and Tirunetoor.

Projects delayed

“In addition, the now-unused old railway station behind the High Court can be converted into a hub for suburban trains. Thus, commuters would not be much affected even if there is a bus strike. These issues must be discussed at the meeting that would be convened in Kochi on Monday, in which the Union Minister of State for Railways E. Ahmed would participate,” he said in a press release and alleged that many railway projects are getting delayed because of official apathy.

The demand for a station at Vytilla has been raised by many organisations, in the backdrop of the proposed integrated bus terminal cum mobility hub scheduled to come up on the eastern side of the junction. Already, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has planned a major metro-rail station on the north-western side of the junction. Passenger ferries can be operated from both the Kaniampuzha river and the Inland Waterways Authority of India terminal located near Thykoodam, a stone's throw away from Vytilla.

Without a railway halt, the mobility hub would be left without rail connectivity.