Call for elevated structure to decongest Vyttila

Traffic movement at Vyttila Junction remains a nightmare despite the construction of the flyover.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

A former member of the Bridge Maintenance Rehabilitation Committee of the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) has suggested an elevated structure on the southern side of the Vyttila flyover, to decongest the junction where movement of vehicles in the east-west direction remains a nightmare, even after the flyover, whose design attracted considerable flak, was commissioned.

Such a structure will do away with vehicles from Thripunithura having to wait for long to get the green signal to cross the junction, to proceed towards S.A. Road and Palarivattom, while at the same time not in any way disrupting the fast movement of vehicles along the NH Bypass. It will also come in handy for vehicles from Palarivattom wanting to cross over to S.A. Road without waiting for multiple signal changes, thus streamlining the flow of vehicles beneath the flyover, said Yacub Mohan George, who served in the IRC and retired from the PWD as Deputy Chief Engineer.

The IRC prescribes technical and allied specifications for construction of roads, bridges, and allied infra in the country.

“Vehicles from Thripunithura could even be diverted through Power House Road if the short but narrow road is widened as a two-lane stretch. The elevated structure could take off from the adjacent service road [about 500 metres south of the flyover], cross over the six-lane NH Bypass and touch the road level on the western side. For this, land will have to be acquired on the eastern and western sides of the service road,” he said.

Mr. George, who shared a sketch of his proposal, further mentioned the possibility of having a pair of stairs and lifts on either side, to enable pedestrians to safely cross the accident-prone NH Bypass.

On the flyover’s northern side (Palarivattom side), he suggested development of the long-overdue underpass beneath the railway overbridge, hardly 30 metres away from the existing narrow underpass. Vehicles from S.A. Road will thus be able to cross over to the Thripunithura side of the NH Bypass, without having to wait on end for the traffic signal at Vyttila. This proposal is in sync with the one that the Kochi Corporation and other agencies have been demanding for years.

While welcoming the suggestion, an official who was associated with the construction of the Vyttila flyover said it would have to be complemented with widening the entire bottlenecked stretch on the eastern side (Thripunithura side) of the flyover, by adding at least two more lanes. “Most shop owners here were willing to surrender their land, even while the flyover work was under way. This must go hand in hand with substantial widening of the junction’s bellmouths and those of Kaniampuzha Road,” he added.

The PWD had submitted such a proposal to then District Collector around three years ago. The proposal, which further included relocation of the police watch tower towards S.A. Road, remained a non-starter, as the State government did not allot funds.

Social activist-cum-entrepreneur Shamier Abdullah, whose design for a clover-leaf-type flyover at Vyttila became a storm on social media and which won applause from, among others, Metroman E. Sreedharan, said the suggestion for an elevated structure on the southern side of the flyover looked good. “It will need at least 10-metre width, to hold two lanes of vehicles. This must go hand in hand with widening narrow parts of the junction,” he observed.

“With almost everyone terming the PWD-built flyover as an unscientific one, I hope the State government will at least now rope in traffic planning experts and ready a comprehensive plan to decongest Vyttila, the biggest junction in Kerala,” Mr. Abdullah said.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 2:41:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/call-for-elevated-structure-to-decongest-vyttila/article35531015.ece

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