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Linking a choked corridor through elevated route

Special Correspondent
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An elevated flyover from the Ayurveda College junction to Attakulangara linking the Overbridge-Pazhavangady-East Fort road corridor is imperative to address traffic problems on the arterial road, transport planners say.

Priority should have been on this elevated flyover rather than on the 475-metre flyover that is coming up at Mele Pazhavangady across the arterial road to link the Power House and Thakaraparambu roads, says T. Elangovan, Head, Traffic and Transportation, NATPAC.

The views assume significance in the wake of the inability to develop the approach roads to the Mele Pazhavangady flyover at Choorakattupalayam, Power House road, Thakaraparambu road, Vazhapalli and Sreekanteswaram. The four-lane Pazhavangady-Overbridge road corridor witnesses a traffic density of 10,000 passenger car units (PCU) an hour. A NATPAC study has found that 35 per cent of the traffic along the stretch is through-traffic, going beyond Attakulangara.

To cater to the present PCU figures, an eight-lane divided carriageway is needed. As land acquisition will not be possible, only an elevated highway can restore road discipline, says Mr. Elangovan.

The S-shaped flyover at Mele Pazhavangady is the second one to be taken up under the Thiruvananthapuram City Roads Improvement Project. As in the Bakery Junction flyover, there will be a full-length grade separator at Mele Pazhavangady. There will be 13 piers and the width of the flyover will be 12 metres. It will be a three-lane bi-directional road.

The flyover is part of the first Intermediate Ring Road passing through Vellayambalam Junction, Choorakattupalayam, Power House Road, Thakaraparambu Road, Vazhapalli, Pettah, Nalumukku, Kannammoola, Law College, PMG, LMS, and Museum Junction.

Road users say once vehicles start moving along the proposed flyover, chaos will prevail at Sreekanteswaram, West Fort, Vazhapalli and Punnapuram where massive encroachments have been made upon the carriageway.

D. Santosh Kumar, a businessman who has parted with land near the Thakaraparambu side, says the flyover will cater only to two-wheelers and light motor vehicles. Heavy vehicles coming and going via the proposed flyover will not be able to negotiate the narrow roads and it will lead to traffic snarls, he adds.

KSRTC plan

The KSRTC also has plans to link the bus terminal coming up at Thampanoor with the proposed one for long-distance buses at Eenchakkal. This will result in an increase in bus traffic along the flyover in both directions. Developing the road in the Fort area has been ruled out as the fort wall is a heritage structure.

“Once the flyover becomes functional, the need will be felt to develop the approach roads in the inner ring. They will get automatically developed,” says Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd. Project Director Anilkumar Pandala.

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