Vypeen-Munambam road to be developed under ₹36-crore KSTP project

The narrow Vypeen-Munambam road is among the most accident-prone stretches in Ernakulam district. Pedestrians are especially at risk .

The narrow Vypeen-Munambam road is among the most accident-prone stretches in Ernakulam district. Pedestrians are especially at risk . | Photo Credit: R.K. Nithin

The narrow, congested and accident-prone Vypeen-Munambam road, which witnessed 91 road accident deaths in the past five years, would be upgraded using ₹36 crore under the Kerala State Transport Project.

Work on the World Bank-aided project, which includes readying of footpaths on either side to ensure safety of pedestrians (a bulk of the accident fatalities on the 25-km corridor were pedestrians) is set to commence in June, it is learnt.

The road’s development was taken up as a follow-up of a road-safety campaign titled ‘Iniyum Vypeenkara Karayaruthu’ (Vypeen must weep no more) which was taken up earlier this year, said K.N. Unnikrishnan, MLA. “The general feeling after the campaign involving enforcement agencies, local bodies and residents’ associations was that the road must be scientifically upgraded in order to lessen accidents, apart from stepping up rule enforcement to rein in reckless driving,” he said.

Congestion on the road will lessen in a few years time as its parallel road would be developed at a 16-metre width, under the ₹2600-crore coastal highway project. Steps will be taken to compensate/rehabilitate around 200 families whose land would be acquired. Upcoming bridge projects will result in influx of vehicles from other places, including Thrissur. This will in turn necessitate the need for wider roads, while parallel bridges would have to be built for two of the three Goshree Bridges, he added.

A topographic survey is on, while National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) would ready a design to develop six junctions on the Vypeen-Munambam stretch, and also allied road infrastructure like footpaths, street lights, reflectors, sign boards and drains. Surveillance cameras too have been planned.

“The existing road has a tarred carriageway which is 6 to 7 m wide. Steps will be taken to ensure uniform width, including by clearing encroachers. Bus stops, auto and taxi stands too will be relocated, while speed curbs will be imposed near schools and hospitals,” official sources said.

A total of 15 bus bays will be readied, while pedestrian crossings too will be earmarked. The Public Works Department, which owns the road, and local bodies are expected to clear encroachments and ready pay-and-park facilities, while around 800 LED street lights will be installed.

The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) had recommended clearing of encroachments, since this alone would clear half the problems that cause accidents and congestion on the stretch. Yet another problem is the one posed by vehicles that are parked over the recently-widened bridges on the stretch.

Accidents due to reckless driving by private buses have been a major contributor to the high fatality figure on the corridor.

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Printable version | May 26, 2022 7:06:59 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/vypeen-munambam-road-to-be-upgraded-under-36-crore-kstp-project/article65401653.ece