KOCHI: Illegal parking of container trucks along the Container Road has been blamed for a series of accidents. Notwithstanding the ban, the practice continues unabated, giving scant regard to the safety of other motorists. Moreover, open defecation, dumping of plastic and food waste along the road by truck drivers are a menace for the people in those areas. “The stench of waste along the stretch is at times unbearable,” Gayatri N, a resident of Mulavukad North, told Express. “It actually stinks, the truck drivers do their entire activities here out in the open. Even after making a parking facility for these trucks they are reluctant to move.”
The four-acre parking facility for the container lorries near the ICTT at Vallarpadam sees around 60-70 container trucks on weekdays and about 100 on weekends, while the city has around 4,000-odd container trucks plying. Even after several warnings from the district administration and the police, the illegal parking continues on both the sides of the stretch.
Most of the parking is done near Mulavukad toll plaza, Moolampilly, Kothad, Cheranallor Junction and the stretch from Eloor Junction to Muttam. “The parking facility is not fully completed, we have been directed to take action against the illegal parking of the container trucks after the parking yard near Vallarpadam becomes fully operational,” said K A Abdul Salam, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Traffic East.
He also added they have responded to the complaints of the residents against the parking. “Parking in the residential areas are not allowed, we have taken action on receiving complaints from the residents of the area,” he said. “For our convenience, we park here along the stretch. We carry goods and deliver them between Mumbai and Kerala. We make our own food here inside the truck itself. We are mere drivers and we are given orders from our owners. But so far no police official or anyone has approached us,” said Ram Nath, a truck driver from Mumbai.
Meanwhile, the Cochin Container Carrier Owners Welfare Association said lack of space and higher parking fees force the truck drivers to park the trucks by the wayside. “We cannot afford the parking fee at Vallarpadom facility, which is in the range of Rs 250 to Rs 300 per container depending on the size per day,” said Tomy Thomas, secretary of the association.
In 2016, 58 accidents took place on the Container Road stretch from Kalamassery North to Cheranelloor and six people died and 64 were injured.In 2018, it stands at 10 accidents resulting in one death and injuries to seven people.