The flyover and Kochi Metro pillar construction have taken traffic woes to a whole new level at Vytilla junction.The police say diversion measures implemented since Saturday are finally working to ease the jams
KOCHI:Last Saturday, the busy Vyttila junction witnessed a traffic jam lasting several hours.
“It used to take me hardly 30 minutes to travel from Edappally junction to Le Meridien. However last Saturday, as I travelled to the property to attend a wedding with my friends, I went mad!” said Rajesh Menon, recalling the harrowing bottleneck.
“We were stuck in traffic for over two hours, from atop the Palarivattom flyover to Vytilla Junction. To kill time and cheer ourselves up, we watched a stand-up comedy special on the Netflix app,” he added.
With the construction of the flyover and the Kochi Metro pillar moving at snail’s pace, the traffic is doing the same. Major snarls with vehicles taking hours to navigate the stretch is now a familiar scene at the junction, one of the busiest in the city. The city receives a high volume of visitors travelling by private cars thanks to the start of the holiday season.
The passage that has narrowed due to the ongoing construction work has added to the chaos. According to motorists, the laying of barricades in an unscientific manner on the centre of the road as part of the construction is creating the gridlock.
“Though barricades are usually placed on the road for metro construction, it is for the first time it is causing this much of traffic congestion. Only a small portion of the road is allowed for vehicular movement. The movement through the narrow road is creating the congestion during peak hours,” said K K Ramesh, a local resident. He added sufficient numbers of police personnel have not been deployed for managing the traffic.
Adding to the woes, many minor accidents, especially those involving two-wheeler riders who attempt to negotiate the bumper-to-bumper traffic, are reported from the area.The massive pile-up of vehicles in Vyttila is affecting the movement of vehicles along the NH and other arterial roads here. Several private buses coming to the city from the eastern areas are cancelling trips midway at Vyttila mobility hub.
Following Saturday’s gridlock, the police took steps to avert traffic snarls; however, it seems the measures failed to achieve the expected results. Aimed at decongesting the Vytilla junction, the traffic police diverted vehicles reaching the location from Kadavanthra through the old Thammanam Road.
Vehicles proceeding to Trippunithura, Aroor and Alappuzha directions are not be permitted to cut through the National Highway. Instead, they have to take the Old Thammanam Road and turn right from Ponnurunni Temple Junction to proceed via the NH underpass to reach the Vytilla service road. The vehicles coming from Thammanam bridge should also proceed via NH underpass.
DCP R Karuppasamy said the measures adopted by the police have become effective now. “With the implementation of the traffic diversion, the congestion has come down. Tuesday morning and evening witnessed traffic blocks but from Wednesday the vehicular movement has been going smoothly,” he added.
The preparatory works of the construction of Kundannur flyover have begun and the construction is expected to commence next week. This has raised concerns that the traffic congestion will be doubled with this in the wake of the gridlock in Vyttila.Commuters and motorists proceeding to Alappuzha via Edakochi have a hard time due to the existing narrow lane. According to Nithin Santhosh, a regular motorist on the Alappuzha-Thrissur Road, there was no sign boards indicating to take a diversion via Edakochi.
New routes to travel easy
Vehicles proceeding to Trippunithura, Aroor and Alappuzha directions are not be permitted to cut through the National Highway.Instead, they have to take the Old Thammanam Road and turn right from Ponnurunni Temple Junction to proceed via the NH underpass to reach the Vytilla service road. The vehicles coming from Thammanam bridge should also proceed via NH underpass