Demand for widening Vyttila, Kundannoor junctions gathers steam

A view of the busy Vyttila Junction. File Photo

A view of the busy Vyttila Junction. File Photo  


Government puts on hold work on flyovers citing fund crunch

With State government putting on hold flyovers proposed at Vyttila and Kundannoor citing fund crunch, there is mounting demand to initiate temporary measures to decongest the two junctions on NH Bypass.

In 2011, the State government had given in-principle approval for a proposal to set up a ring road connecting the eastern parts of the city with Vyttila mobility hub. This remains on paper despite increasing traffic snarls at Vyttila.

Better Kochi Response Group (BKRG), an NGO, had proposed another ring road around Vyttila in 2011, by widening a few side roads along the NH Bypass and by making optimal use of the service roads and underpasses around the junction. It was to serve the purpose of a clover-leaf shaped flyover, which cannot be built in the limited space at the junction. The idea was to enable a good share of light vehicles to avoid Vyttila junction by using the widened side roads. This simpler proposal too has not been given attention.

P.A. Hashim, nodal officer for flyovers along NH 47 Bypass, said he expected the government to earmark adequate funds for the two flyovers at least in the next financial year. “The flyovers have been put on hold despite the Public Works Department (PWD) telling Finance Department that funds were required only in 2016. We have Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) funds to meet expenses in 2014 and 2015,” he said.

On why PWD is not remodelling the two junctions by making best use of available space, Mr. Hashim said this could be done after the flyovers were ready since any other initiative would hamper smooth flow of vehicles. “Moreover, land will have to be acquired to ensure wider bell mouth and this might prove time-consuming,” he said.

Wider underpass

Sunitha Dixon, councillor representing Vyttila ward, said traffic snarls in the junction north of Vyttila could be lessened if a new underpass was built beneath Vyttila bridge, nearer to the railway line. “The existing underpass is narrow and cannot accommodate two-lane traffic. I am probing the possibility of sourcing corporate social responsibility funds for the new underpass that was proposed years ago but failed to materialise. NHAI is dithering on widening service roads despite huge increase in vehicles,” she said.

She said traffic snarls on the Pettah-Vyttila Road could be lessened if a road beside KSEB Power House was widened. Motorists from Pettah will then be able to access NH Bypass near Thykoodam, without waiting for the signal at Vyttila. A survey for widening the road is over and the PWD has to set apart funds.

Metro fund

Traffic will be thrown into disarray when Kochi Metro works commence near Vyttila. This could be prevented if Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) allots funds for road development on the eastern part of Vyttila Junction, Ms. Dixon said. She blamed the PWD and the NHAI for lack of foresight in decongesting Vyttila and Kundannoor where unscientific location of road medians and traffic islands hamper optimal use of available space.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 11:05:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/demand-for-widening-vyttila-kundannoor-junctions-gathers-steam/article6692687.ece

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