NATPAC to suggest steps to curb accidents, smooth traffic at 39 black spots in Kochi

Agency awaiting work order from KRSA to launch a study

March 02, 2021 01:11 am | Updated 01:11 am IST - KOCHI

The Vyttila Junction is among the highly accident-prone locations identified in Kochi.

The Vyttila Junction is among the highly accident-prone locations identified in Kochi.

With the city traffic police approaching the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) to suggest measures to streamline traffic flow and avert accidents at 39 high-risk black spots in the city, the Thiruvananthapuram-based agency is awaiting a work order from the Kerala Road Safety Authority (KRSA) to kick-start its study here.

There are a total of 58 high-risk black spots in Ernakulam district. Paperwork was being readied to conduct the study and map all the black spots, in keeping with the latest accident statistics, said official sources.

The highly accident-prone locations identified in the city include Vyttila and Kundannoor junctions, where traffic snarls continue to persist beneath the six-lane flyovers commissioned in January. The two junctions are among the busiest in Kerala, with approximately one lakh passenger car units (PCUs) passing through Vyttila each day.

The NATPAC was willing to suggest measures to streamline traffic movement and to prevent accidents at the key junctions on the NH Bypass, if requested by the PWD (NH Wing), which built the flyovers and designed the pathways beneath them, said Ebin Sam, scientist in charge of NATPAC’s Kozhikode regional centre, who led a team which mapped high-risk black spots and readied a list in 2019.

“The design of the two intersections might need a revisit. This is especially true of Vyttila, where multiple roads converge. The agency can even otherwise conduct a study of the junctions and suggest alterations in their design. They have to adhere to specifications of the NHAI, the agency that owns the Edappally-Aroor NH Bypass,” he said.

The other accident-prone locations include Madavana, Kannadikkad, Thykoodam, Chalikkavattom, Chakkaraparambu, Palarivattom, the NH Bypass stretch near Oberon Mall (all on the NH Bypass), Kadavanthra, Kaloor, High Court Junction, Menaka, Changampuzha Park Junction, South Kalamassery, North Kalamassery, TVS Junction, Edappally Toll Junction, Kunnupuram, Kumbalangi, Mattancherry BOT Bridge Junction, Palluruthy, Koonamthai on NH 544, S.N. Junction in Thripunithura, Karingachira, Pallimukku Junction, Atlantis Junction, the stretch near Thoppumpady village office and the curve near Puthiyakavu Hospital Junction.

The NATPAC will recommend to the agency concerned structural or other alterations that the locations need, to ensure safe and smooth flow of traffic, on the basis of traffic, topographic and other surveys. “We generally recommend easily implementable measures, while it is up to the agency concerned to ready long-term measures which may involve land acquisition or readying bridges or flyovers,” said Mr. Sam.

Across Kerala, 232 of the 340 priority black spots are located in high-risk locations. The NATPAC has suggested rectification measures for 75 such locations.

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