KOCHI: The Ernakulam district administration will conduct an 'open house' to collect the opinion of the public and various stakeholders in the city's development to chalk out a proper traffic diversion plan in connection with the construction of the new flyover at Vyttila.
The barricading of the NH stretch at Vyttila junction for the construction work has added to the traffic woes at the busiest junction in Kerala. With complaints and criticism being raised against the construction activities, the open house is expected to come up with a proper solution.
The open house discussion will be held on Monday at the Collectorate. District Collector K Mohammed Y Safeerulla said every citizen can submit his opinion or recommendations and suggestions at the forum. "On the basis of the opinions gathered, we will take a final decision on traffic regulations after consulting the various departments concerned," he added.
The district administration decided to take the initiative to solve the traffic crisis after the work enters its second phase. At present, the preparatory work is going on at Vyttila. Once the actual construction of the Rs 86-crore flyover begins, the traffic congestion is likely to increase three-fold unless a proper traffic deviation plan is drawn out. The proposed flyover at Vyttila will have a total length of 850 metres at a height of 8 metres.
The District Collector said in order to make the traffic flow smoother at Vyttila junction, the signal junction towards Thammanam junction is already closed. No 'U-Turn' will be allowed here. Vehicles, including buses, coming from Vyttila Junction and Kadavanthra and going towards Mobility Hub and Eroor side should enter the service road through the Ponnurunni railway underpass.
The vehicles can enter the Kaniyampuzha Road through RSAC Road also. To ease traffic here, the RSAC Road will only allow one-way traffic. The buses coming from Kaniyampuzha and going towards Kadavanthra side should enter the Mobility Hub and exit through the normal opening in the hub. Two electric posts at the Palarivattam side of the Vyttila junction will be shifted to help commuters. Likewise, the electric poles at the Shiva Temple side will also be shifted.
Meanwhile, re-routing of buses through the underpass will cause difficulties to bus drivers, the office bearers of a bus drivers' union said. "Earlier, the buses would take a U-Turn near the police traffic tower to the east to reach the Vyttila hub. The space available here is wider than the present underpass. We could save about 10 minutes if the authority changes the passage through this route," said Shamsu, a private bus operator.
He also cited the narrow underpass as a reason preventing the easy passage of the vehicles. "With all the buses going through the Ponnurunni Road to reach the Vyttila Hub, the narrow road will be choked," said Shamsu.
"We believe that there will be enough space on the road even after barricading to allow vehicles to turn from the watchtower. The block will also get reduced," said Biju, an auto driver.