Kochi

Metroman reiterates call for underpass at Edappally

Left to drag: Serpentine queues of vehicles at Edapally Junction. Despite demands from various quarters, the authorities have not readied plans to construct an underpass at the busy junction where the NH bypass and two arms of NH 66 converge.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

Metroman E. Sreedharan has reiterated the need for an underpass to decongest Edappally, since traffic holdups at the junction are set to worsen due to the rise in the number of private vehicles when flyovers at Vyttila and Kundannur are commissioned in September and March 2020 respectively.

Neither the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) nor the Public Works Department (NH Wing) has readied plans to construct an underpass at the ever-busy junction where the NH bypass and two arms of NH 66 converge, despite demands from various quarters.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had taken special care while finalising locations for pillars for the flyover and the metro viaduct at the junction to steer clear of space where an underpass could be constructed to link the Edappally-Aroor NH bypass with NH 66 (earlier NH 17 that proceeds to Cheranalloor), Mr. Sreedharan told The Hindu.

Mr. Sreedharan, who is also principal advisor to DMRC, further sought widening of the free left turn from NH 66 to NH bypass to prevent traffic holdups. For this, land owned by a hotel located at the bell mouth of the junction will be needed. Similar improvements on other sides of the junction will further help streamline traffic flow, he said.

Six-lane underpass

Responding to the suggestion, a high-ranking official of the NHAI, which owns both the NH and the NH bypass, said the authority’s aim was to ensure hassle-free flow of vehicles in different directions at all junctions. “Vehicles proceeding in the north-south direction (from NH bypass to Cheranalloor and beyond in the Guruvayur route) will have to be segregated from the rest of the traffic at the junction. This might necessitate the need for a four- or six-lane underpass, depending on daily passenger car units [PCUs] in the direction,” he added.

Interestingly, KMRL had won an award in 2018 for redesigning Edappally Junction and landscaping it at a cost of over ₹5 crore.

“We did our best to make optimal use of space available at the junction. Land will have to be acquired in front of the hotel and, if required, on the western side to further decongest the junction. We are open to a collaborative effort at the government level,” said a senior metro official.

Samiti demand

Edappally Vikasana Samiti president P.R. Padmanabhan Nair sought speedy measures to build an underpass at the junction.

“Edappally is witnessing phenomenal growth due to the opening of shopping malls, other commercial establishments, hospitals, and residential areas coming up on the eastern side of the city. Government agencies and town planners must adopt an innovative approach to decongest the junction,” Mr. Nair said.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 11:59:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/metroman-reiterates-call-for-underpass-at-edappally/article26242555.ece

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