Traffic Will Choke Youth Festival
KAKKANAD: The city is all set to host 55th State School Youth Festival will be held here from January 15-21. The people of the city will have the opportunity to revel in seven days of art extravaganza. However, as it happens with any event, the ifs and buts have started to plague the youth festival too.
The decision to hold the festival in the city has many lacunae. When an event of such a magnitude is held in the city, which is already suffering from traffic congestion, one doesn’t need a vivid explanation to fathom that situation will surely go from bad to worse.
Kochi roads have become very narrow owing to the ongoing Metro work. The rapid increase in the number of vehicles too has added to the existing chaos. Another factor that plagues the city is the lack of byroads, through which the traffic could be diverted to ease the bottlenecks on the main roads.Recently, somebody started a rumour that the venue for the event has been shifted from Ernakulam to Alapuzha due to the ongoing Metro works. However, at meeting that was held between the District Collector and the Education Minister Abdu Rabb it was clarified that the event will be held at Marine Drive here. This decision may have excited the art lovers but it would try the patience of the authorities to conduct the event without any hiccups. The participants will also find it difficult to reach the venue in time due to the traffic snarls.
The district administration has suggested 20 venues for the festival. St Teresa’s College, Maharaja’s College, Rajendra Maidan, RLV College of Fine Arts, Durbar Hall Ground, SRV School, Ernakulathappan Ground, Government Girls High School, Town Hall, St Albert’s School and St Antony’s School are the main venues for the event.
But, St Teresa’s College, Maharaja’s College, SRV School, Government Girls High School and St Albert’s School have already been booked as centres for an UPSC exam which will be held on January 18. To overcome this hurdle MLA Hibi Eden in meeting with the district authorities put forth a suggestion to postpone the Festival from January 21 - 27. However, if the the festival is postponed then the Ernakulathappan Ground and Rajendra Maidan will not available due to oncoming Ernakulathappan temple festival.
It is learnt that the DMRC has also submitted a memorandum to the District Collector and also the state government seeking shifting of the venue from the city in wake of the construction work. There is no doubt that the influx of people to these venues will make the traffic go hay-wire.
In order to deal with the situation it has become very essential to relocate venues to another place. The event should be held in place that is the least affected by the traffic snarls and has all the required facilities.
If the event is held at Kakkanad the public will be able to reach the venues without falling prey to the traffic snarls of the city. People coming from Northern side can reach the spot through Kalamassery and those from Southern side can come via Pipeline Junction or Thrippunithura to reach Kakkanad. People from Idukki district can reach the place via Perumbavoor.
Also the place is easily accessible via trains since it lies near to the railways stations at Aluva, Kalamassery, Ernakulam North, South and Trippunithura. Meanwhile the ferry servicefrom Vyttila to Chittettukara can also be used to arrive at the venue. If the government allots more number of ferry service along this route the visitors will be able to access the event venue without having to bear with the city’s traffic congestion.
As many as 30 venues are available for hosting of this big festival of art. The sprawling civil station’s parade ground has enough space to set up the main venue and the vast municipality football ground lying nearby can be utilised for setting up food counters.
The newly constructed municipality open air auditorium, panchayat community hall, Kakkanad open air auditorium, NGO Quarters junction ground, Priyadarsini auditorium, MRI hall, KT George memorial park auditorium, Press academy auditorium, Rajagiri college, Pookattupady KMM college and Government Model Engineering college which lie in 2km radius are more than enough to provide the facilities required to host the event.
In addition to this, as many as 20 other schools, including CBSE schools, such as Marthoma Public School, Bhavans Adharsa, Bhavans Varuna, Chembumukku Assisi Vidyanikethan, Padamugal Jamath Residential Public School, Palachuvadu Vyasa Vidyalaya, Chittettukara Modern Public School, GovtHSS Thengodu, Mar Athanasius Kakkanad, Cardinal HSS Thrikkakara, Mary Matha EMHS Thrikkakara, Govt UPS Kakkanad, Nazrathul Islam LPS School, Chittethukara, MAAM Panchayat LP School Kakkanad, Darusalam LPSThrikkakara, Vikram Sarabhai Science Park and Infant Jesus LPS can also be used as venues.
The vehicles can be accommodated at the Municipal ground which is just 300 meter from the Parade ground. The district head quarters ground can be used for parking. Meanwhile, if the bus service is restricted at Kakkanad bus stand then the vehicles can be parked along this road instead of parking them in front of the Civil station. Besides this the area in front of the Thrikkakara municipality and Kakkanad temple ground can be used for parking.
Accommodation for students can be arranged in the various schools at Kakkanad. Kakkanad has a large number of hotels with ample lodging facilities. There are around 16 hotels here and these have as many as 500 rooms between them, which can be made available for the visitors who will be coming to attend the festival. Apart from these the home stays and other accommodation facilities too will serve in a big way to fulfil the needs of visitors.