It has been long since the narrow roads and speeding vehicles have become a threat to the people residing along the Pachalam-Vaduthala stretch. Since there are no alternative roads to reach the Vaduthala and no means to reduce the traffic jam caused by the frequent closure of Pachalam and Vaduthala railway gates, the residents now demand that the authorities take immediate action against the speeding vehicles, especially private buses.
“The Pachalam-Vaduthala stretch, which is also called the Lourde Hospital road, was built 25 years ago to mitigate traffic congestion. Earlier, the road was used during emergencies only. But, with the permanent traffic diversion, the road has become a busy stretch and speeding vehicles have turned a threat to the pedestraints and two-wheelers,” the local people say.
The matter is getting worse with the width of the road decreasing and the number of vehicles rising. “Though the records available show that the width of the road is about six metre, in many areas it is just four. Diversion of the traffic through the area is making the road a precarious stretch,” they said.
To add to the traffic woes, there is an LP school and a hospital nearby.
“The private buses ply along the stretch like they plying on the National Highway,” local people say.
Most often, the ambulances leading to the hospital get stuck in the traffic jam. “The closure of North ROB for Kochi Metro Rail project has aggravated the situation,” they added.
Though the residents of the area have taken up the issue with the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic), they are yet to get any positive response. P D George, a resident, said he had filed an RTI in this regard to know whether any action has been taken by the authorities concerned.
“But we got an emphatic ‘no’. It would be appropriate if the authorities take immediate step against the plying of private buses along this route which is just about 750 meters,” he said.
Meanwhile, B J Antony, RTO, said the diversion has been done by the Traffic Police. They have submitted a proposal with the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) to use the route permanently for diverting the vehicles.
“Discussions are going on,” he said.
The RTO said all arrangements are being done for the good of the public. “If it creates a negative impact, such arrangements has to be repealed,” he added.