Vyttila back to traffic chaos

Months after the new traffic regulations were introduced, there is hardly any relief for the traffic snarl-ups that plagues one of the busiest junctions in the city

Published: 22nd April 2022 07:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd April 2022 07:14 AM   |  A+A-

Areal view of the Vyttila Junction where vehicles coming from Kadavanthra, Kundannoor, Thripunithura areas intersect | A Sanesh

Express News Service

KOCHI: Many new regulations were introduced for motorists passing through Vyttila junction in mid-January this year. Vehicles from Palarivattom to Ernakulam side were directed to go up the flyover and take a U-turn and those coming from Ponnurunni were directed to take the Subhash Chandra Bose Road. Travellers from Kaniyampuzha side were allowed to take either Vyttila Mobility Hub road or metro station road.

Four to five police personnel were deployed at the junction to divert the motorists from the north side and not letting them take a right turn and a special traffic island was set up on the highway near Decathlon for the smooth flow of vehicles coming from the north to take a U-turn. Another group of traffic personnel have been guarding the Sahodaran Ayyappan Road to prevent any unauthorised parking on the roadside.

Three months after the new regulations, regular commuters can see that there is no reduction in the traffic chaos in the peak hours. Since the motorists coming from north are prevented from taking a left turn and instead directed to pass through the flyover, they take a free left towards the Kaniyampuzha road and a U-turn to return to the junction. As a result, there has been a long queue of vehicles on the hub road, blocking the entrance of the metro station as well.

Why not use vacant spaces?
According to the Vyttila Merchants’ Union, their suggestions were not taken into consideration while implementing the new regulations by the police. They also complained that those coming to Vyttila from Palarivattom side do not have a proper bus stop or parking space and instead, they have to go till the hub. They also complained that the abandoned spaces on the roadside, earlier with the revenue department and now taken over by Kochi Metro Rail Corporation (KMRL) could be converted either into a parking space or cleared to widen the road. 

“Elderly people or those coming to buy medicines here have to walk a long way. The bus stop was shifted to ease traffic, but why can’t the authorities clear the vacant land and find space here itself, instead of making the people suffer?” asks Vincent Kallarakkal, who runs a spectacles showroom at the junction. On SA Road, there is not enough space for taking a free left. “The flyover would have been better for the Ernakulam-Kottayam direction,” he added.

Businesses hit
According to the merchants here, ever since the construction of the metro rails started, their businesses have been hit badly. Now, the customers are reluctant to shop from there due to unavailability of parking space, said Muraleedharan K M, one of the merchants on SA Road. According to him, the traffic could be controlled if the vehicles going towards Kottayam are allowed to take a free left and U-turn through the Ponnurunni underpass and pass through Bismi.

“This suggestion was made by traffic assistant commissioner Francis Shelby, which could remove a lot of vehicles from the junction. If the old PWD office also could be shifted, that will create a smooth flow of traffic. The bus shelter on SA Road was removed. A new one was constructed by us on the highway for buses from Kundannoor side to Ernakulam via SA Road. This eased the traffic on one side,” he said.

City Police Commissioner Nagaraju Chakilam confirmed the difficulties in controlling the traffic even after bringing in the new regulations. He added that more changes would be adopted soon, including directing the vehicles going towards Kottayam side to take a free left from SA Road and take a U-turn from the underpass nearby. 

“The road is so narrow that taking U-turn is the easy option to reduce traffic. Adding to that, the drivers opt to take short cuts, which in turn will increase the traffic issues. Already, the NHAI insists that there  should not be a crossing or roundabout in between the highways and hence, we will be introducing more free left turns in the junctions to free the highway,” the commissioner said.



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