Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority mooted

More passenger boats are to be introduced. Photo: H.Vibhu

More passenger boats are to be introduced. Photo: H.Vibhu  


A Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority would be constituted to integrate bus, train and boat services in the city, on the lines of the authority in Indore.

This is because existing mass-transport systems are inadequate to meet the rising demand from commuters, neither are they people-friendly. Many places are not networked by public transport, despite having roads and navigable waterways in the vicinity. The city also needs a clear mobility plan which would work under a Traffic Regulation Committee, the Kochi Corporation's budget says.

The agency would extend support for the speedy completion of the Kochi Metro Rail. The demand for more inter-district train services from Kochi to Kottayam, Alappuzha and Thrissur will be taken up with the Railways.

Modern boat jetties would be established beside waterbodies, and faster boats introduced to revive the city's water-transport network which once ferried men and materials. The help of local bodies would be sought for this since it would help preserve the backwaters and also boost tourism. The Corporation would form a company to operate boat services. Steps would be taken to begin regular boat services from Kamalakadavu in the Fort Kochi heritage zone to the High Court, since boats go only up to the Customs Jetty in Fort Kochi now. One more junkar would be made available in the Fort Kochi-Vypeen sector, to ferry commuters and vehicles.

The help of Kerala Tourism and Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation would be sought to begin boat and hovercraft services that would link Kochi with Kumarakom, Varkala, Kovalam and Kozhikode.

Aimed at beautifying the city and removing eyesores, junctions, medians, footpaths and street lights would be put up based on a public-private partnership. Footpaths would be made pedestrian-friendly, in keeping with the Corporation's master plan. The Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry would sponsor the initiative. Medians would be better designed.

Hoardings and other publicity materials would be regulated. Overhead cables that pose danger to road users and also spoil the city's aesthetics have to be routed through underground cables and service ducts. Greening and landscaping have been planned. Backwaters and canals too would be cleaned. The CII has volunteered to help in the beautification drive.

New bus stands have been envisaged in Perumpadaph, Konthuruthy and Edakochi. Bus-waiting sheds would be modernized with private participation.

A bylaw is being readied for regulating parking and to identify new parking lots. The parking fee in arterial roads would be hiked. Multi-level parking plazas would be built on a PPP basis. Steps would be taken to ensure that buildings and shops have ample parking area.

Parks in the city would be renovated and libraries attached to them. The Subhash Bose Park in the city and Nehru Park in Fort Kochi would be renovated with private participation. The Kunnara Park and Vytilla Mobility Hub would be linked through a walkway.

The Chilavanoor backwaters would be renovated and a boat club, water theme park opened.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 7:25:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/unified-metropolitan-transport-authority-mooted/article3253654.ece

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