Edappally-Aroor bypass upkeep in the doldrums

Published - November 14, 2018 12:20 am IST - Kochi

Most service roads on the Edappaly-Aroor bypass are shoddily maintained.

Most service roads on the Edappaly-Aroor bypass are shoddily maintained.

Upkeep of the 16-km-long Edappally-Aroor NH bypass stretch and service roads is in the doldrums due to inordinate delay by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in sanctioning funds.

Residents associations and NGOs have been on the warpath citing how motorists have to pay a hefty toll although the stretch is ill-lit, dotted by unscientifically located U-turns, bus stops, unkempt medians and shoddily maintained service roads.

Both NHAI officials and those entrusted with the upkeep of the stretch confided that the agency’s headquarters in New Delhi has been turning a blind eye towards proposals sent to declog existing drains, construct drains alongside service roads and to cover them with slabs. “Inadequate drains and dumping of garbage into open drains have been a perennial issue, ever since the NH Bypass was commissioned over 20 years ago. Another proposal to build adequate refuge lanes for vehicles at U-turns too is hanging fire, since funds have not been sanctioned,” they said.

Yet another long-pending proposal is to increase the width of tarred space on service roads from 5 to 7 metres, to enable safe movement of vehicles in either direction. This would also act as a check on wanton parking of goods carriers and other vehicles on the corridor.

The NHAI’s reluctance to provide funds to build drains and to increase tarred area of service roads has been causing waterlogging, creating potholes and washing away earthen road shoulders. "The headquarters has not responded though half a dozen estimates, revived frequently, were sent to it,” informed sources said.

Garbage dumping

They further blamed the Kochi Corporation and the district administration for not preventing dumping of garbage and sewage at many areas on the bypass. Neither agency has bothered to prevent the practice, though it was taken up with them repeatedly. On its part, the police must clamp down on haphazard parking, they added.

Chaos worsen

The chaos along the busy bypass which is used by over 1 lakh passenger car units (PCUs) daily has been worsened by tardy maintenance of roads on either side of flyover construction worksites at Vyttila and Kundannoor.

NHAI officials said that the two junctions have been handed over to PWD (NH wing) for flyover works. “The PWD is duty bound to maintain the two junctions in a pothole-free manner when flyover work is on and hand them back to us in proper condition,” they said.

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