KOCHI:Achange in attitude regarding transportation is inevitable. If you have no other exercise, walking for three to four kilometers daily will keep you free from diseases.In 2016 alone, one and a half lakh people died in road accidents while five lakh were injured. Overspeed, drug use, talking on mobile phones, drowsiness, disobeying other traffic rules are the main reasons. On the other hand, only 193 deaths by rail accident was reported in 2016. Rail is speedy , cheap, safe and eco-friendly as energy consumption per passenger is much less. So increase rail connectivity. Research can be done by government bodies, corporate and individuals for the above aspects for rail,road water and air travel and findings, if worth, should be implemented. Petrol and diesel may be substituted by electricity, CNG,or other eco-friendly fuel.
Whenever new roads are constructed in towns and cities, special paths for cyclists and pedestrians together should be provided on the either side. Bicycle can be used to travel five or seven km especially by students. If land is not available, whenever a new metro is constructed, a heavy concrete road on the same pillars can be constructed for cyclists and pedestrians only with slow sloping narrow approach roads on either side. Share taxi and share auto with recognisable colour will be convenient, cheap and time- saving. Non-profit sharing of private vehicles also is welcome. More speed boats and jangars with more jetties are required especially for coastal regions. If Kadamprayar and Edachira and Perendoor canals are cleaned and widened, inland boating can be promoted.
On completion of double line from Kanyakumari to Manglore, frequency of trains including passenger can be increased especially by speedy trains.Even before considering express way or another double line side by side with the existing railway, the urgent need is a rail through midland and near hill area of Kerala where rail facility is poor. Sabari rail from Angamali to Erumeli extended to Punaloor and Thiuvananthapuram via Nedumangad and to Kasarkod via Alathur, Manjeri and Thaliparambu will serve this purpose. Indigenous technology may be developed for bullet train and MLEV to reach Delhi from Thiruvananthapuram in just seven hours at affordable cost.High speed trains can be run through the golden quadrilateral connecting Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Bombay. Further, PPP can be tried in various big projects.
The main stumbling block in acquiring land is the vast difference between government fair value and the market value. If at least twice the market value and free alternate land or business place are given nearby, people will queue up to get their land acquired! In Ernakulam district works not yet begun or completed are Pulleppady-Thammanam- Kakkanad double line road,Seaport-airportroad 13 km to reach the airport,Vypin coastal road,Kuthattukulam ring road, Thangalam-Kakkanad 4 line road,bypasses at Vyttila, Kundannoor, Thiruvankulam bund road, Angamali,Perumbavoor,Muvattupuzha ring road and Kalady parallel bridge. Six line NH, four line Palarivattom - Thammanam- Vyttila road,Kakkanad mobility hub are also necessary. With these improvements and making the mesh-like roads like Kochukadavanthra- Thykoodam bund road wide and good with short-cut sign boards to important destinations, traffic jam can be overcome.Zebra lines and service of home-guards are necessary. Kochi is not a clean city with poor drainage system and is a mosquito breeding centre.Remember, all round development of Kerala is a must. So people in Kochi need not gasp for breath in future as in Delhi.
The views expressed by the author are his own.