Vyttila mobility hub’s second phase work in doldrums

The State government has not registered the Vyttila Mobility Hub Society as a government-owned company or as a special purpose vehicle.   | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

Even as uncertainty looms large over the ₹572-crore second phase development work of Vyttila Mobility Hub (VMH), primarily due to the inordinate delay in reconstituting the VMH Society as a company, stakeholders are peeved at the little effort being made to ensure its seamless connectivity with Vyttila Junction during the second phase development works of the junction.

The State government has not registered the Society as a government-owned company or as a special purpose vehicle (SPV), although the first phase was commissioned in 2010, soon after which the assurance of kick-starting second phase work was made. Constituting the VMH Society as a company is crucial to overcome numerous issues, including the availing of loan and attracting investors for the second phase work slated to be executed on a public-private partnership (PPP)basis. A senior official of the agency had said in February that a plan of action to set in motion the second phase work would be readied in March, for which the formalities for registration of the company were in final stages, said official sources.

With company formation caught in red tape, there is concern over the fate of a soft loan that was expected from a French lending agency.

“Even more worrisome is the fact that no effort is being made to integrate VMH with the proposed redesign of Vyttila Junction, to put an end to traffic hold-ups. Buses and other vehicles still have to use the narrow approach road (Kaniampuzha Road) that leads to the hub. The bell-mouth at the turning from the junction is too narrow and confusion prevails there,” said Sunitha Dixon, chairperson of Kochi Corporation’s works standing committee and the councillor representing Vyttila Division.

Despite odds, the least that the VMH Society must do is to ensure proper footpaths and street lighting on Kaniampuzha Road. It is very unsafe for passengers, especially women, to use the footpath and road in its present condition, said Ms. Dixon. The VMH Society must ensure a wider road and wide footpaths. The overgrowth of weeds and shrubs had considerably lessened usable space in the temporary parking area near the hub’s entrance, she added.

The fate of a skywalk that had been mooted a decade ago to ensure safety of pedestrians crossing Vyttila Junction and proceeding towards the hub was sealed by what is increasingly being termed as an unscientific flyover that was built at the junction.

The chairman of Vyttila United Forum V.R. Thampy said little thought went into constructing the flyover. “We had submitted a detailed memorandum to the Chief Minister in 2017, with a list of suggestions. It ought to have been integrated with the 25-acre VMH, which is set to witness exponential growth in the years to come,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 11:08:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/vyttila-mobility-hubs-second-phase-work-in-doldrums/article35259719.ece

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